Saturday, August 30, 2014

40 simple rules for living a Travelife

Silversea.com

Someone sent me these 40 "rules for living" some time back, reportedly written by a 90-year-old lady who had experienced a very full life. I thought I'd share it with you today.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're happy and living a never-ending Travelife.

Scroll down to read more..




1
Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
Make up your mind to enjoy it.

2
Live everyday with dignity,
on your own terms.


3
Don't get bogged down by the small stuff.

4
Choose your battles wisely.
You don't have to win every argument. 

5
Don't ever let anyone put you down,
or affect you with infectious negativity.


Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....



6
Always try to see the good in others.
Some people make criticism and cynicism a habit.
Don't mix with this crowd.

7
Save for things that actually matter.

8
Save your time and effort for people
who are truly worth of these.

9
Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

10
Don't compare your life to others. 
You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....




11
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is a combination of millions of baby steps.

12
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. 
But don't worry; God never blinks.

13
Take a deep breath. 
It calms the mind.

14
Get rid of anything that isn't useful. 
Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

15
Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....



16
It's never too late to be happy. 
But it’s all up to you and no one else.


17
When it comes to going after what you want in life, 
don't ever take no for an answer.

18
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. 
Don't save it for a special occasion. 
Today is special.

19
Over prepare, then go with the flow.

20
Be eccentric now. 
Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
Don't let others dictate what you should or shouldn't do.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....



21
The most important sex organ is the brain.


22
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

23
Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 
'In five years, will this matter?'

24
Always choose life.
And laughter.
And love.

25
Don't lie, the truth will always catch up to you.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....


26
What other people think of you 
is none of your business.

27
Get rid of things that weigh you down, 
because it is not worth your time.

28
However good or bad a situation is, 
it will change.

29
Don't take yourself so seriously. 
No one else does.

30
Believe in miracles,
and in the inherent goodness of most people.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....



31
Don't audit life. 
Show up and make the most of it now.

32
Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

33
All that truly matters in the end is your character.

34
Get outside every day. 
Miracles are waiting everywhere.

35
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, 
we'd grab ours back.

Scroll down to read more simple rules for living....




36
Envy is a waste of time. 
Accept what you already have, and not what you need.

37
The best is yet to come.
Wake up believing in this each day,
and it will happen.

38
No matter how you feel, 
get up, dress up and show up.

39
Yield.
This can sometimes make you a winner
in the long run.

40
Life isn't tied with a bow, 
but it's still a gift.
Cherish it.

50 shades of black and a minimalist life in Tokyo. And how a Best of Japan holiday starts tomorrow.



The last few weeks have been extremely busy, and not just because of a never-endingly eventful Travelife.

In between planes, trains and cruise ships, I've been sorting out homes and lives in two countries at the same time. 

No mean feat, by the way, in an already incredibly busy life. But I felt it was time for a major overhaul in two cities.

Scroll down to read more...




THROWING OUT THE BAGGAGE
IN TOKYO

In Tokyo, I threw half of the things that constituted my life out of my house as I felt I wanted a more streamlined existence in a fast-paced city.

So everything that wasn't needed or that hadn't been used in six months went into the charity bin, or the garbage bin if these weren't good enough to recycle.

-------------------------------------------



-------------------------------------------


BLACK IS BACK

The other thing I did, at least for my life in Tokyo, was to take colour out completely.

I went through all my clothes and unloaded everything with colour and design -- at least in my Tokyo closet.



For some reason, I feel like being in a black phase, which was how my wardrobe looked about 15 years ago in Japan.

My wardrobe in Tokyo as of September 2014 now consists of fifty shades of black, instead of 50 colours. And how liberating this was to make such a drastic change.

I love it. Everything matches and life is so much simpler.

THREE NEW BLACK SHIRTS



I realise now how much less I need, with this new minimalist philosophy.

To celebrate my new lifestyle, I even went out and bought three black shirts today, to go with a very nice pair of black yoga pants I bought last week.

Yes, everything I own in Tokyo is now a variety of black.

A HOLIDAY TO EXPERIENCE
THE BEST OF JAPAN



And tomorrow, a group of friends arrive in Japan for a foodie luxury trip to end all luxury trips.

I've been working hard to arrange every single detail for this trip over the past weeks as well, calling in favours with contacts and arranging truly special experiences for the kind of Best of Tokyo trip that only Travelife can put together.


-----------------------------------------------

TRAVELIFE WITH US

MOROCCO



And finally everything has fallen into place.

We're now all set for a week of amazing experiences and fun, in Japan living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




Breakfasts around the world, so far in 2014. And the joys of amlou.

Breakfast at the Palais Amani in Fez, Morocco
last June 2014

The last eight months of a never-ending Travelife have taken me to places as disparate as Cape Town and the Cape winelands in South Africa to Surabaya, Indonesia.

The latter is near the erupting Mount Kelud, that covered much of East Java in ash. We were in Surabaya just 24 hours before the eruption.

Wagyu hash at Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore

In these eight months, I've also stayed in some of the most beautiful and interesting hotels and resorts on the planet.

And of course enjoyed some of the most delicious and innovative breakfasts on the planet as well.

Breakfast at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech
last June 2014

MY FAVORITE BREAKFASTS 

If you ask me about my favourite breakfast in a lifetime full of amazing and amazingly good breakfasts, people who really know me will tell you I'm really a creature of habit, even if I'm on a never-endingly eventful Travelife.

The eggs benedict at Fordoun
in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
last May

Or perhaps I'm a creature of habit because I'm on a never-ending Travelife?

When your days are full of change, sometimes you want something that's always the same to literally anchor you to the ground.

A PITCHER OF RAW JUICES TO START

Fresh fruits and cereals at Grootbos Natural Reserve,
Ovenberg Bay, South Africa


Either way, I always have a pitcher of raw juices to start, followed by a plate of fruits, and then a nice hot meal like a plate of eggs benedict made with smoked salmon.

Spanish breakfast at the Maria Cristina
in San Sebastian, Spain
July 2014

Eggs benedict is my favourite breakfast dish, and I'll almost always have this with salmon rather than ham or bacon, when available.


Breakfast buffet at 54 on Bath, Johannesburg in January 2014.
This is where Travelife Magazine readers also stayed last May.

A CROISSANT AND CHEESES TO END

For some strange reason, I like to have bread at the end. If I'm on holiday, I have half a croissant and a plate of cheese.

The best scrambled eggs I've had,
at Domaine les Crayeres in Champagne, France
July 2014

ROOIBOS TEA WHENEVER POSSIBLE

If I'm in South Africa, I always have a pot of rooibos tea. And if I'm somewhere where they have good Pu-Erh tea, I always have Pu-Erh tea.

Otherwise in Europe, I have a pot of herbal infusion.

The fruit buffet at a Small Luxury Hotels property
in the Loire Valley 

July 2014

HEALTHY BREAKFASTS IN MOROCCO

On holiday in Morocco last June, we had very nice vegetable stews occasionally at breakfast, along with lots of salads and hummus.

We also discovered a very delicious paste called amlou, which Moroccans eat with their bread. It's made with almond paste, spices, honey and argan oil, and it has the consistency of gooey peanut butter.

Healthy breakfast at the pretty out-of-this-world
Dar Ahlam in Morocco
June 2014

THE JOYS OF AMLOU

I made my own at home when a jar I brought back from Morocco last June ran out, and it was very good.

I was happy to be able to adjust the flavours to how I like it, instead of eating someone else's formula. This way, too, I was able to use good ingredients like organic raw honey and organic almonds.

Nobu fruit plate for a first course at breakfast
onboard Qatar Airways Doha-Manila
June 2014

DISCOVERED BY ACCIDENT

In Morocco, living a Travelife, we had this almost every morning, after we discovered it one day for breakfast at the Four Seasons Marrakech. 

One of the waiters gave us a pot of it to have with some freshly baked Arabic bread, and it was love at first bite.

Oysters, fresh fruits and seeds & nuts
at the One & Only Cape Town

January 2014

So in this blog entry, I've posted some of the delicious breakfasts I've had, in the last 30 days of a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

Even just for breakfast, it's truly been an amazing Travelife.

Red velvet pancakes
at Morrell's Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg
May 2014


Gado gado at the Villa Mathis in Bali
February 2014

Banana french toast in Johannesburg
May 2014

Rooibos tea and smoked salmon in a jar
at Majeka House, Cape Town

January 2014
Breakfast with the works
onboard the Silver Shadow of Silversea
from Bali to Singapore

February 2014
Nasi lemak in Singapore
February 2014

Jamon, cheese and smoked salmon
at Birkenhead House, South Africa

January 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remembering a really good chicken meal at Nando's Peri Peri in South Africa



Today, in Tokyo living a Travelife, the discussion at lunch turned to Nando's Peri Peri, the favourite chicken restaurant of everyone in South Africa.

One of my friends wants to bring the Nando's franchise to Japan after having tasted the famous peri peri chicken in South Africa. 

It was love at first bite.

Scroll down to read more...



THE FIRST TIME I TASTED NANDO'S

This made me remember the very first time I tasted Nando's peri peri chicken, which was last November.

I'd flown into Kimberley, capital of South Africa's Northern Cape region, from the middle of the Kalahari Desert, after a really bumpy flight midway, when our Pilatus got tangled up in an airstream.

-------------------------------------------



-------------------------------------------

I had the plane all to myself for about ten days, and this was something like Day 5; and I was actually taking advantage of all the space by sitting with my feet up on the opposite chair, working on my computer and answering emails.

I also had my iPod on, and I was listening over and over to Tori Amos singing "Sleeping with Butterflies."

MOVING AROUND WITH WIFI



We were flying low enough for me to catch the mobile WiFi signals via a portable device I was carrying.

And since I had WiFi in the air, I was completely focused on work -- answering emails and even actually ordering food from a menu for a big party in Manila the following weekend.

Then the plane started gyrating to the wind, and I swear it was like a roller coaster ride. 


My Pilatus in Northern Cape

And because my seatbelt was rather loose, I actually got thrown off almost into mid-air twice.

Fortunately, I was thinking so much about my emails that I didn't have time to get scared.

And the actual landing was pretty smooth, as my pilot Francois is an expert and the Pilatus is a great plane.


AN APPETITE FOR LIFE AND FOR LUNCH.
AND FINALLY, NANDO'S PERI PERI


But all that motion in the air certainly gave me an appetite for life and lunch. I was positively famished when we landed.

So from the airplane, we proceeded straight to the center of Kimberley for a shopping stop and lunch at Nando's Peri Peri, which is the favorite food of almost all South Africans.

I'd long been hearing about Nando's Peri Peri, but I'd never gotten around to trying it before.




THE QUINTESSENTIAL SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE

The place was full, and the restaurant had a distinctly African vibe in a stylish way, even if it was basically a fastfood joint.

I asked a South African friend: "Is Nando's really that good?"

He nodded and answered: "Every South African swears by it. In fact, it's so good that it's the only thing we order if we have to stay late at the office."



MY EYES DID THE ORDERING

That definitely got me hungry, and I ordered way more than I should have eaten. I wanted to try everything.

I got a half chicken with wild rice, spinach and feta cheese on the side, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.



The server asked: "How do you want your chicken? Lemon and pepper, malt or spicy?"

I didn't really know, so I asked her: "What's the best way to have it?"

-----------------------------------------------

TRAVELIFE WITH US

MOROCCO




SPICY IS THE WAY TO GO

She smiled and said, "Spicy is very popular."

So spicy, it was. And the verdict?



The chicken was incredibly good, and tender moist inside.

It was so good, in fact, that I was trying to figure out how to replicate it back home while I was eating it.



MEMORIES OF ANOTHER TRIP

And the sticky toffee pudding at the end was equally good as well.

It reminded me of the sticky toffee pudding the Travel Companion and I shared over lunch at Cape Town's waterfront, almost exactly one year before.

-----------------------------------------------

TRAVELIFE WITH US

SOUTH AFRICA


-----------------------------------------------

We'd just returned to Cape Town from a morning visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela had been jailed, and we'd decided to walk around the waterfront and look for a nice restaurant for lunch.

We found a decent steak place, but the best part of this lunch had been the sticky toffee pudding.



I just love sticky toffee pudding, ever since the first time I had it in England many years ago. This was love at first bite for me.

And as it's so hard to get a decent version in Asia, I've learned how to make good sticky toffee pudding at home. However, somehow, the ones I've had in South Africa have a particular sweet taste and they are very wet.

-----------------------------------------------



-----------------------------------------------

It must be the sugar used here, I thought.

So, of course, after lunch, I headed to the supermarket to see what other sugar and spices I could buy, to take back home, to make peri peri chicken and sticky toffee pudding, to remind me of beautiful South Africa, in between my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.