I want to share this little spot we will stay at for some of our time in Indonesia - a little secret get-away opened by some young cool people my BF knows. Living the dream: moving to Indo and opening a chilled guesthouse surrounded by ocean, nature & all the time in the world... (how I imagine it must feel to live in a place so close to my definition of paradise).Read More
Travel Massive connects thousands of travel insiders to meet, learn and collaborate at free events all around the world. This is the first China Mainland chapter and awesome news for all people here with a passion for traveling, a career in the industry or both. I already became a member =)Read More
We all know "hate" is a strong word and you won't hear me use it often. But one thing I hate, like really hate, is flying. Short flights, long flights, big planes, small planes, window seat, aisle seat, especially middle seats - I hate it. Oh the hassle of geting to the airport in good time (but God forbid in too good time), all the queues, controls and organized chaos and not to speak of the uncomfortable hours above the skies with air pressure, air condition and dried out everything.
I have no strong fear of flying, crashing or getting highjacked but with everything it entails, flying makes me feel super stressed, super unbalanced and super unhealthy. And I feel it days after long flights. That's why I.. really don't like flying.
It's terrible for a travel-addict like myself and as I accept that I have to live with flying I of course try to focus on the positive... As for example getting to relax for 11 hours when flying from Shanghai to Europe and back, getting the window seat with an empty spot next to me, getting the 1st class menu because I forgot to order vegetarian (again)..
Sooo in spirit of "the positive" and with my solution-oriented mind let me share my personal Preparation & Recovery Strategy for surviving what can not be avoided when you love traveling (aaaand when you live over 8000 km from your sweet Denmark family): FLYING
Hydration Hydration Hydration
One of the biggest damages flying does to our body (and mind) is dehydration. The planes filtered, ultra-low-humidity air combined with full-on air condition can dry out just about everything, inside & outside. That's why I always focus on boosting and hydrating my body using good C-vitamin supplements, natural lemon juice & lots of electrolyte boosting drinks like coconut water and natural juices.
Psssst: Shanghai's FS JUICE has a new OASIS Juice with lemon, orange, honey, sea salt & water. These water-juices are a a good example of what our bodies needs for a "perfect balance of electrolytes for fast hydration". And they taste yummy! Check my recent post of juice boosts in Shanghai out here. Make sure to order a delivery in advance on their website before you land at your home in Shanghai or use FS' Oasis as inspiration on how to make your own hydrating treat!
Boost the immune defense
When our airways get dried out our natural health protectors in nose and throat get weakened or broken down. Without these barriers, bacterias have an easier time infecting your body. That's why I always make sure to boost my immune defense with lots of C-vitamins before flights and I make sure to stay "clean and sterilized" during and after flights (wash hands often and like you would tell a child: keep fingers out of nose and eyes)!
Move That Body
Sitting still too long has never benefited anyone. Nevertheless no one really feels like getting in and out of those small flight seats too many times. But this doesn't mean you can't move at all. First of all I always try to move as much as possible before a flight - go for a run, do yoga or take a long walk (spend the waiting time in the airport wise for instance).
Also, from my flight seat I move: stretch my body regularly, wiggle my toes, give myself a little neck massage while moving my head sideways and loosen up! Every time I get up from the seat I make sure to copy the Chinese people on board and find a corner where I can stretch every body part. After reaching my destination, I find time for an evening or morning run or a long walk and breathe in lots of air (especially if I've left Shanghai for a cleaner region).
In general my best advise is that you don't use flying/traveling as an excuse to be extra lazy & unhealthy - it's already really bad for your body, system & mind just to get up in the air. So at least do what you can to make it a zero game and arrive at your destination with a more shining skin, a clearer mind aaaand more energy to explore & attack your new destination!
To sum up - here's my Strategy for Staying Healthy After Flights:
- Avoid alcohol before and during flights
- Buuut if I have something on the evening before a long flight, I limit myself to 1-2 glasses of wine and make sure to drink lots of water with it.
- Avoid caffeine
- I replace my morning coffee with an extra yummy smoothie but because airport and lattes go really well together I often have a weak latte with only 1/2 shot of espresso - very milky but this works really well for my latte craving!
- Of course have more yummy smoothies and have lots of fruits & veggies (as always)
- Carrot sticks, apples, nuts & dried fruit are my favorite flight snacks!
- Boost immune defense with C-Vitamin Boost (Before, during and after flights) and double up on lemon water the morning before a flight: Juice from 1 whole lemon in warm water
- Stick to drinking water and drink heaps of it - sodawater with lemon is a treat for me!
- Make sure to move the body as much as possible before, during and after flights! Nothing like a run or long walk to refresh body & mind after a long flight!
Any other good tips, let me know!! And enjoy your travel & exploration <3
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Choosing to be an expat and living in another part of the world than your family doesn't have to mean choosing a life apart from your family. It can indeed strengthen relationships and the mutual appreciation of each others existence. It all depends on perspective and our mental attitude towards each other and this incredible life of ours <3Read More
It's weekend in Shanghai but more than a regular weekend: it's Qingming Festival.Read More
So what to do in Shanghai in the weekend when you don't want it to include alcohol? To be honest, though do-able, it's really not ideal to head to Friday night's happy hour with my colleagues for double up on coffees... or to join Saturday's group dinner at teppanyaki, have a soda and leave early...Read More
As I like to say: If you wanna stay Happy & Healthy in Shanghai you gotta get out of Shanghai once in a while. This is something I'm really passionate about - also because traveling is fun and China is such an amazing and diverse country with countless spots, destinations & must-sees. Check out Trips & Travel to see what I travel-wise have been up to since I came to China for the first time in 2012.
Next weekend we will be heading to Guilin and Yangshuo in the Guanxi province for the "Mid-Autumn Day Holiday" (most people here will have Monday the 7th off). This is a trip I've been looking forward to since we locked it in when I came back to Shanghai after summer in Denmark over four weeks ago. Because that's what we do in order to realize all our trips & travel: We Lock Them In.
Planning, Planning & more Planning
When living in Shanghai I often think about how how time is flyyyyying and one thing I've learned here is that if you want to do something different, see something new and most importantly travel out of Shanghai you have to lock it in. Shanghai is an amazing place and there's things (awsome things) happening every day and week. I find that if I don't lock my trips in and make committing plans my schedule will be filled up with brunches, parties, events, dinners, workshops and lots of other big-city-life fun.
Big-city-life fun is awsome but as I often mention I find that it is so important for our General Well-being, our Health and our Happiness that we get out of Shanghai once in a while. And no matter which city you live in actually. That's why I use a whole section on Shanghaihabits to share my traveling in China - to help, inspire and motivate you to get away.
Small as well as big get-aways make me reenergized, make me think about new ideas and makes me consider the future in a different perspective. It most importantly buys me the only thing I believe money is really worth buying: experiences!
Get into it
If you feel the same but not sure where to go or how to go you can check out my China trips for some travel inspiration as well as travel information. Another and maybe even more important recommendation is to get the book Shanghai Connections. It's written by another passionate traveler and it literally contains 40 trips out of Shanghai (including mountains, islands, smaller biking tours and helpful information). We use this book a lot and I've recommended it to many friends. Get it here - it is awsome and can change your Shanghai life!
Just to repeat myself: I really find that the most important thing is: Planning! So start planning friends and share your travels with me so we can help each other stay Happy & Healthy in Shanghai.
Share with your friends and don't forget to subscribe to Shanghaihabits to receive other good tips & trips from China's New York
It is absolutely fantastic to see friends and family again - especially in this time of year where people are relaxed & happy and the weather is beautiful.
I recently had the pleasure to spend some days with my two lovely and very energetic nephews. Being with them made me realize how excited they are about even the smallest things they discover around them. How excited they are about life and how it sometimes seems that they see a lot of things as small miracles.
It's really sad how we as adults have a tendency to forget the small miracles in life. (Oh I said it, I'm an adult now...)
We get caught up in everyday life, work, worries, plans or whatever it is and forget. Forget the excitement over the first butterfly in spring, the excitement over a big green open field that just calls for a run or a fountain perfect for a little watersplashing. And it is just not right.
I believe that's why it is so crucial to get out of our everyday-life setting and routine. We need a break in order to look at things from the distance and from a "fresh" perspective. We need a get-away so that we can remember our dreams, build new ones and believe that regardless of our current situation anything can still happen in this life. That's why it is so magical.
It reminds me of Walt Disney's famous words: Never stop dreaming
Maybe that's exactly what make us stay young, alive, happy and excited: our dreams, hopes and imagination.
This summer I will try to dream more. And even when I'm not with my nephews I want to play in the field, practice my headstands everywhere and remember to appreciate and be excited about the small miracles I'm surrounded by here in summerly Denmark
This year June 2nd was Dragon Boat festival. Traditionally Dragon Boat festival in Shanghai means eating sticky rice, drinking special wine and racing dragon boats. I've been asking my Chinese friends and teachers but most of them was just looking forward to having Monday off and thus a long weekend.
I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to do a trip - get out of the city, see something different and explore something I hadn't explored before. It was not until two days before the weekend began that I decided: I was going to travel to Sichuan - a province in the South-western part of China just East of Tibet. Its 30 hours from Shanghai by bus, around 3 hours by plane and soon it is possible to reach with high speed train within 12 hours. The province is especially known for very spicy food and it's capital Chengdu.
On the day where I booked my ticket I was doing research on where to go. I suddenly received an email from a Chinese guy who worked as my assistant when I just arrived in China in 2012, in which he asked about my well-being and if I was still in China. He further informed me he had left Shanghai and was now back in his hometown Chengdu so if I ever got a chance to visit he would be more than happy to show me around.
Chengdu was on my long to-go list. A bustling city known for pandas, spicy Sichuan food and some great buddhist sights nearby for example Emeishan - the highest of China's four buddhist mountains and a perfect destination for a hike. I quickly did some reserach/travel planning and concluded that it would be possible for me to combine a panda visit, sightseeing in Chengdu, visiting buddhist sights and doing a small hike in my three days off.
I booked the ticket shortly after and told my Chinese friend Carlos in Chengdu about my plans.
Sometimes i like to believe that there is a reason for the things that happens. Not that everything happens for a reason and we just passively have to accept. But I believe that life will create opportunities for you and you just need to grab them. Everything that happens to you and everyone that crosses your path can lead to something else and someone else if you just embrace what life throws at you. Opportunities opportunities opportunities.
They say holidays are the worst time to visit Chinese sights because they are over-crowded by the increasing amount of traveling Chinese people. Still, this was such a good opportunity for me to see Chengdu with a local, explore famous buddhist sights for example the Giant Buddha in LeShan and do some soul-searching and a hike on the buddhist mountain Emeishan.
Happy Dragon Boat Festival - a perfect time for another China adventure
I love this saying and how it plays with the word light.
For me it is so important to feel light. I don't like to have too much stuff around me or too many things to carry around. Not at home and not when I go traveling. I like to feel free, I like simplicity and I absolutely love to travel light through life.
One of the most important things for me in order to stay healthy & happy in Shanghai is probably to get out of Shanghai once in a while. As most people I absolutely love traveling and I believe that no matter where you live it is absolute vital for your well-being to get a change of scenery. Also and maybe especially in Shanghai I find that this is very important. Just as exciting, amazing and fun this city is, just a draining, tiring and stressful can it be. And indeed after living in Shanghai the idea of "getting out of the city to get some fresh air" suddenly seems to have a very literal meaning...
This weekend the Chinese celebrate the Qingming Festival also called the Tomb-sweeping Day. This holiday is said to be a time of both happy and sad activities including tomb sweeping and flying kites. For us being a young expat couple the holiday means that we have some days off work and university and that equals: traveling.
As a gift for me when I came back to China in February after having finished my Master's thesis at Copenhagen Business School Leon had planned a one week trip for this forthcoming holiday. Now it is happening.
Tomorrow we will travel to the Yunnan Province in South-West China where we will explore the city Kunming for a couple of days and then head to Xishuangbanna which is bordering Laos and Myanmar. Here our plan is to hike and explore this very unique part of China renowned for rural jungle areas, wild elephants and exotic snacks (exotic here probably means weird but anyway: YUM).
I have no idea what to expect and have no idea what to bring. But I know that I will be traveling light and that it is going to be such an adventure.
I can't wait
Once again I find myself on a plane with my life packed in suitcases and on my way to a new place and not least: a new adventure. This time I have a few things worked out from home - I know where I am going to live (at least for the first couple of months) and with whom: my beloved boyfriend (whom I met last year in Shanghai but that is another story). Still, there is a lot of new things waiting for me in China. A lot of uncertainty. And I absolutely love it. The unknown, the unexpected and the feeling that anything can happen.
I always find it so important to move forward - not just physically move - but more as in setting goals and moving towards them. For me it is not only about achieving my goals. It is more about having goals and move forward. And as they say:
a goal without a plan is just a wish
So now is the perfect time to formulate my goals and plan how I'll move towards them:
- Learn basic mandarin (I am starting fulltime mandarin study at Jia Tong University in Shanghai next week)
- Become amazing at yoga (I will engage more intensively in my yoga practice: join classes every week. Hopefully set up a yoga atmosphere in our spare room - I brought my favorite mat!)
- Look for opportunities in regards to my career path (I already got in contact with relevant organizations through my network for future work after my studies)
- Travel around in China and experiencing this fascinating culture (we have already planned two trips for the coming months: a trip to Putuoshan a buddhist island in the Zhejiang province on the East coast and to the lake-city Kunming in the Yunnan province in the south of China).
and as always: to continue my happy & healthy habits