Yangshuo

IMG_9874 IMG_9886  IMG_9913IMG_0055IMG_9942 IMG_9943 IMG_9976 IMG_9981 IMG_9983 IMG_0002 IMG_0018  IMG_0050 IMG_0053 IMG_9879 IMG_9937IMG_9947

Anne Claire and I took advantage of the “study break” to discover mainland China, before actually using the break for what it is supposed to, aka study to finals. We were lucky enough to have the perfect timing, managing to avoid the Amber storm in Hong Kong, and arrive to Yangshuo just by the time rain ended. We’ve not been blessed with weather lately in HK culminating to the previous weekend, resulting in floods over the city. Afraid of this, I decided to leave my camera home and regretting it immediately in clear-sky Yansghuo, having to live the memories through iPhone pics…

The village turned out to be bigger and more touristy than we expected. However, I fell in love with the unique landscape, which is often described as most beautiful in China. The village itself was cozy, a blend of westernized yet Chinese.

We spent our days cruising a river on a bamboo boat, bicycling around the town, took a mud bath followed by hot spring in a cave, tea plant visit, hiking to a view of Li River… We discovered the most delicious vegetable curry ever and returned to the restaurant to have it for almost every meal since… On the last night we ordered a bottle of wine which ended up being more than just one bottle. I have to say I have not felt as bad the next day in years, but we for sure had fun. I already look forward visiting this French beauty in Paris next summer, followed by a trip to French countryside to their family summer house. I can clearly imagine us sipping wine and enjoying cheese on a sunset….

 

 

Easter break

IMG_9428IMG_9435IMG_9583 IMG_9440   IMG_9459 IMG_9475 IMG_9479 IMG_9483 IMG_9528 IMG_9557 IMG_9558 IMG_9556 IMG_9590 IMG_9598 IMG_9618 IMG_9630IMG_9635

I’ve been enjoying some much needed vacation from uni life for a week now, in good company. I was lucky to get my parents to Hong Kong for Easter and we’ve had some catching up to do since it’s been so many months since we last saw. I of course used the chance to escape the campus to the hotel at the island ;). 

Hotel life has been sooo good after living wherever during the past year (30th June last year was the last night I slept in my own cozy bed!!).  We are staying at Indigo, a trendy boutique hotel in Wan Chai. We were lucky enough to get a room at the highest floor with a view to the mountains. This with the location in the city, amazingly delicious breakfast and coziest bed ever, no need to say that it’s my heaven. I am writing this by the rooftop infinity pool in all quiet and peace, the busy city life feeling distant though it is only one elevator ride away;).
We’ve made some restaurant discoveries as well as I’ve made my parents try my favourite healthy food places. After another Mana meal my dad actually told that he might get used to vegetarian food after all the trials I’ve put him go through here 😉 I know where my sisters and I are taking him in Helsinki – Silvoplee!
Now my plan is to catch the last rays of sun and slip into jacuzzi..:) More pictures to come!

Skin

IMG_2918IMG_2987bIMG_2997b

Skin was an issue for a long time for me. Like many others, I had the perfect skin all my teenage years, until the day I quit taking hormonal birth control. Since, I tried everything to from natural to not-so-natural medicine, studied nutrition and have gone through some fundamental lifestyle and diet changes (and suffered from some of them along the way) . Even though my skin has been much better for a while now, I still suffered of an infection at my chin. I know this kind of condition is a cause of something beneath the surface and in my case it was a sign of hormonal unbalance.

A major healing happened few weeks ago. I am lucky to work in a health food company with some nutrition experts. We got a speech on nutrition which basically had two main points – most of the conditions in our body are caused either by weak immunity system or unbalanced hormonal system, both of which I know to have problems with. Herbs and medicinal mushrooms have a bigger role in healing these condition than most of us are aware of. I promised to try our Princess blend, whose benefit is to support the hormonal system. Within a week, I noticed that the infection on my chin had healed itself and the excess oiliness I’ve been suffering of, is gone.  I’ve never seen effects of any individual product that clearly, which is why I want to share this. I would not write about anything  I didn’t believe myself in.

I was worried that living in a polluted city like Hong Kong would make my issues worse. Luckily, this has not been the case, but I can only imagine how it looked like if I could breathe the fresh air in Finland, eat all the wild berries and have my daily smoothies…Sounds like excuses but maintaining a balanced diet really feels hard at this point. You just got to do your best and enjoy all the adventures my lifestyle enables right now:). My skin (or hormonal system) is still not yet as its best, but so much better than in years.

Of course there are countless causations behind skin issues, but balancing hormonal system and strengthening immunity system are something to seriously give thought to.

 

Hong Kong restaurant love stories of the birthday girl

IMG_6339IMG_6364IMG_6366IMG_6392IMG_6394IMG_6397IMG_6398IMG_6399IMG_6400

Dinner after another with both best friends and new acquaintances made my birthday week feel very special. The actual birthday day we started appropriately with Bellinis, followed by dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant, ChomChom. I had high expectations for this place, and the salmon and chicken salads, eggplant dishes and beef rolls proved to be beyond delicious. Best part, however, was the huge chocolate cake served to the table by the waiter, which completely threw me by surprise, and made me feel touched by the people I have got around me in a new city.

The dinner next day was not less mind blowing. Emily took me to Grassroots Pantry, an organic food serving restaurant that I had wanting to go for ages. Soba noodles with tofu did not sound that appealing to me, but as it is Emily’s favorite dish and she goes there A LOT, I wanted to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. The dish was amazingly tasty and made us beg for the recipe and have long discussion with the lovely waiter. At the moment, several days later, we are texting with Emily and sharing our cravings for the soba noodles and the veggie dumplings…

As for Friday night, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures as this was one of those nights that it is better to leave the camera to bag and just enjoy. (might partly due to the fact that I did not want to make my date feel embarrassed shooting in a crowded restaurant..) We ended up in ChomChom again as either of us didn’t mind going back. I had told him that I’ve been avoiding meat here as I find it suspicious in most places. He was convinced to turn me back being a meat eater and so the table filled up with all sorts of dishes of chicken, meat and fish, which I found quite cute. I can not describe how delicious the chicken wings, beef tenderloins and kaffir lime chicken tasted, after such a long break. I realized how much I had craved for meat and chicken. So, despite all the nutrition I’m studying at the moment, no way I’m turning a full-time vegetarian.

Photo diary

IMG_6063IMG_6089IMG_6100IMG_6106IMG_6113IMG_6114IMG_6158IMG_6166IMG_6175IMG_6179IMG_6205IMG_6226IMG_6207IMG_6231IMG_6239IMG_6250IMG_6269IMG_6271IMG_6279IMG_6297IMG_6201

My photo diary from past few weeks includes:

1. Junk Boat Sunday – by no question the best way to spend a sunny Sunday in Hong Kong 2. Breathtaking views at the infinity pool 3. Countless dinners at Mana which I will never get bored of 4. Experiencing the only-in-Hong Kong kind of Halloween 5. Snails and french fries at Pastis 6. Dinner of raw dishes and desserts at Maya cafe with gorgeous Emily 7. A perfect Friday night at rooftop of Sevva, with live music and friends from home 8. Enjoying the views at Ritz-Carlton with another gorgeous friend, on a pitstop from NYC to Japan, Nadia (I’m hopefully visiting her in Tokyo in couple of weeks!!!)

The past days or weeks have at times made me miss many things back home more than before. Obviously, I miss family and friends, more or less every day. I miss having a home with proper shower, kitchen, privacyspace, FOOD. After 5 months dealing with the lack of these, truly makes me appreciate the home I will again have one day. I wait to be able to cook and have space at the fridge for more than 3 items. May sounds amusing, but Mana has truly been my savior. I am well aware that I have at least 7 more months to go, and the worst is only getting started.. Attitude change is really needed 🙂

Nevertheless, looking back the pictures of past weeks makes me, once again, realize how much unforgettable moments I’ve experienced. In a way, I’m also consciously accepting the feelings, and doing my best to treat myself. I don’t feel bad of consuming loads of dark chocolate, taking weekly massages and having cozy dinners with friends. Weekly yoga class is a must. Tonight, Emily is taking me to a restaurant for my birthday that I’ve been wanting to go  for ages, Grassroots Pantry. Little things that feel like luxury and will take me over of this period that makes me at times feel ambivalent.

“Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you.”

    IMG_2581IMG_2579

Though this city could never drive me to boredom, I must admit, I am happy the first era of my time here is coming to an end. My internship of past 6 months has enabled more than I could have hoped for in many terms, but I’m ready to continue the adventures. After four years of studying non-motivating subjects for me, working in more or less non-motivating jobs during past summers, I feel like I truly need some time to listen to myself and figure out what I want to do next. I could not feel more relieved and blessed to have no obligations of any sort for two months.

IMG_2585IMG_2586

I am more motivated than ever to pursue my true interests and start creating something on my own. The feeling of having an own business has only strengthened in me during the past months.  I want to focus my energy in learning new. Here, I’ve constantly been reading books about nutrition, which appeal to me a lot. Also, it is not a coincidence that I eat most of my meals here at Mana. At the same time, I am thinking of how to make most out of my time before starting master studies.

IMG_2590

Although Hong Kong still has a lot to give, right now I can not wait for my travels to start. People ask me how come I am not scared to travel by myself . Of course, I am a bit, but more than that, I’m curious of the adventures that await me. And it’s not like I have not done it before, knowing exactly one person before hand in both New York and Hong Kong. Restless by nature, I can’t wait to relocate myself and get inspired in new surroundings.

Sunday on a boat

IMG_6088IMG_6004IMG_6005 IMG_6015IMG_6028IMG_6039IMG_6042IMG_6044IMG_6051IMG_6055IMG_6057IMG_6060IMG_6066IMG_6074IMG_6076IMG_6078IMG_6082

Though I am aware of repeating myself often, no photos or words, once again, can do justice to the past weekend. Having no good friends in the city led me to new adventures, deepening friendships and establishing new ones. Until last, I hesitated on whether to take part to this junk boat party as I only knew one person beforehand. I knew it was a going to be a group in which everyone else knew each other. I took the risk, which obviously turned out to be worth it, both girls and guys taking me immediately part of the group, sharing their stories from all over the globe – for the first time in a long time, I was the only Scandinavian. Another memorable day in the city that keeps surprising me over and over again.