All you need is a tooth brush by valerie minville

I’ve come to realize that living fully, to me, is not living possessively.

Some nights ago, my friend and I were given the opportunity to sleep in a villa. As we have been sleeping in a very basic space - very decent, though, don’t get me wrong - for the past months, getting to spend a night in a luxurious home translated into something quite nice for both of us. Thrilled with the idea, we made our way back home, packed whatever we thought was needed - a pair of shorts, two tops, and few other goodies… mainly accessories to spice up the visual content we envisioned creating once in that nice looking villa -, and we went to bed.

There, we arrived in the morning, charged our phones and the day rapidly unfold just like it tends to. We mainly hung around enjoying each others company and telling one another some of both’s silly life stories. Time flew by just like it tends to, too, and our usual yoga practice was right around the corner; an hour into yoga, and the practice was already over. Blessed by the Vinyasa flow I then made my way back to the villa, glanced at my phone and jumped right into a rejuvenating shower. The rest of the night matured easily; we stayed in watching a movie and eating papaya, brushed our teeth and caught some z’s.

The next morning, our stay was then over. We acknowledged our enjoyable and austere time with in mind the only plans we had for that afternoon: surfing. Therefore, we happily headed to our favorite surf spot.

Sitting at a café, a few days later, both my friend and I carried a chat with a lovely lady. The conversation was going on and about our western society and its tendencies to want, have and own so much; often without the recognition that these belongings in fact are only landed to us for an undetermined period of time. Nothing is bound to withstand the passage of time we all three agreed. All is meant to die, in whatever form might it be. We also discussed about our time at that said villa, and about how pleasant it is to change environment sometimes. We finally wrapped up our talk. How silly was it to have had brought so many belongings, yet to have had used only our tooth brushes. We all laughed.

Out East / Montauk, NY by valerie minville

 

Rad week of beach hang, surf and good beers surrounded by crazy people in such a vibrant town. My time beside the coast was short but exceptionally sweet and although I forgot my camera charger and couldn't take as many shots of this awesome beauty area, I'm happy that I caught a few moments. See y'all in August!

Surf & travel with Salty Boho by valerie minville

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It’s been 2 months in Sri Lanka, and now currently in California and I believed more than ever that it’s possible to travel while working at the same time. During my journey in the Southern Province, I’ve came across Malin and Sofia; two girls from Sweden how has been traveling around the globe for the past few years. I wanted to know more about the journey and life and ask them some questions.

When did you first leave Sweden of an adventure?

We both left Sweden together when we were 19 and 20, for a year full of adventure traveling through South East Asia, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji and new Zealand. And after that we just never stopped really!

How did the idea of Salty boho came from?

As we travelled we came across so many beautiful things, jewelry, paintings etc that we wished we could buy and share with the world. So this idea came up, why don’t we buy small things that we can bring along, and share it with the world online? So www.saltyboho.com came alive and we saw the opportunity on how to inspire other young girls on how to travel, work and live the life of your dreams!

 How do you manage to travel for so long?

We have been working. And travelling. And working again. Seriously, we have worked in so many cafés and restaurants all over the world we can’t even count them anymore.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and your head down for a couple of months to be able to travel some more, we have met friends for life during these times and it’s always worth it! Look for jobs from home, go work in a Surf camp, look for internships within your field of expertise or search for new experience this way. Education is great, but real life experience is also super important. The last few years we have been finding jobs before heading out on our travels, this way we make sure to really get jobs that gives us experience within our preferred field and to get to see a new country!

What made you choose this digital nomad type of life?

Really, the Digital Nomad kind of life choose us! Seriously, it was with no intentions that we ended up on this road. All we did was travelling with an open mind and realizing we simply were not interested in a 9-5 working day in an office. We tried that, ended up having daily rage attacks listening to Biggie Smalls, doing Yoga on the floor and violating the dress code with hoodies and yoga pants.

You’ll get surprised on how many opportunities pops up when you say yes to things. But sometimes you also have to say no when your gut feeling says so. You get really good at listening to your gut feeling while living like this.

What’s the most beautiful treasure that you’ve found?

Well obviously, all of our treasures has touched our heart in some way, but if we have to pick, we LOVE our handmade Tie dye blankets that we found in Sri Lanka last year! And we do feel some extra love for our new collection that we have designed ourselves and are producing with our local silversmith and his family in Sri Lanka. It is so nice to get to give back to the local community in Sri Lanka that we adore!

What’s the funniest things that happened in your travels?

1.     Three people in one big rubber ball rolling down a hill in the countryside of New Zealand. Google “Zorbing New Zealand” and you’ll see for yourself!

2.     Diving in underwater caves in the Jungle in Tulum, Mexico. We literally drove out in the middle of nowhere, put our diving equipment on and jumped into a big hole in the ground in the jungle. Thereafter we got to explore a 7km long underwater cave system, one of the biggest ones in the world! It was life changing, living the high life and all that in one heavenly experience.

What does a typical day look like for you?

When in Sri Lanka, we wake up at about 6am and go for a surf at our local break in Midigama in the sunrise. Then we go for breakfast, and work, answer emails, have meetings etc for a few hours until the heat strikes in mid day – this is the perfect time for a nap. After that we usually take a snack, work some more, and then take an afternoon surf or yoga class before sunset and dinner! We round up our day with dinner at our local with friends and sometimes an episode (or five) of New Girl and wake up to do it all again!

Things you could live without?

Malin: A good swimsuit. Seriously, its life saving always.

Sofia: Speaker. Good tunes sets the mood you guys!

 What’s your favorite song in the moment?  

Juicy with Biggie Smalls any day, anytime!

 If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Just go for it! If you have a passion project, start working on it. Lower your expectations, everything does not have to be perfect and you don’t have to have everything figured out when you start, we promise it will grow as you go!

 Any tips for the girls who would like to go out there and explore the world?

Don’t be scared to go alone. You’ll find so many like minded friends on the way you’ll literally struggle to find alone time! If you travel as a group or with a friend, don’t forget to stay open to other people, it’s easy to get comfortable. And learn to surf! Just do it. It will be a struggle, but don’t give up, you’ll soon catch that one wave that will change your life (and travel destinations, no more city vacations) forever. And it’s definitely worth the bruises and shark bites (just kidding).

 What’s your motto in life?

Remember as an entrepreneur - but also as a human - you’re going to fail. All you can do is learn and laugh about it. And most important of all, don’t take life to serious and don’t forget to have fun!

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So here they are, with one goal, to inspire and help guide other young women (and men of course) on how to live a life where you can combine your passion with living your dream life. I got honestly some chills while talking to them. They definitely inspire me more than they probably think.                                              

 

 

 

Weekend in the jungle by valerie minville

Last weekend, I had the chance to be attending a yoga retreat in a beautiful valley near Kandy – a city up North and East from the capital. 

Friday, April 30th 

11:15am: from the second I step out of the car, Rukgala’s staff immediately took good care of me; one lovely guy brought my bag to the room when another woman was waiting at the top of the stairs to be handing me a delicious green juice. And then, Nancy - who is the most shinning and healthy yogi and teacher I’ve ever seen – was just arriving. She was glowing from inside out I thought! 

1:00pm: we were expected for to be attending a welcoming ceremony followed by a delightful meal. Just the perfect gathering to getting to know everybody. After talking and eating, it seemed that I had an hour left before diving right into the yoga program, so I made it an opportunity to have a nice nap. When waking up, to be honest, a yoga practice didn’t seem much appealing. However, I deeply knew that that practice would be doing me good. Once in the Shala – a home for yoga -, invaded by jungle sounds, it became even clearer that my body will be thanking me later. 

The yin class was wonderful; a lot of stretching, which were much needed after multiple hours of travelling. As the class was coming to an end and as we were awakening our senses from the Shavasana pose, tea was brought to us. Following this, Nancy taught everyone about aromatherapy, self-facial massages. A-m-a-z-i-n-g! A therapy that is providing plenty of health benefits; just like yoga, but precisely for the face. We have been learning about the way one’s part of its face affect the rest of its body. 

After that holistic therapy and love giving to my body, I was now looking forwards to be eating dinner. I mean, what more to be asking for than vegan food and great conversations with locals. 

8pm: I was heading to my room where I enjoyed a reading with a warm cup of tea. Just before falling asleep, I looked forward for the next day to be just as perfect as the one that had past. 

Saturday, April 1st 

6:00 am: I was waking up slowly to the wild sounds of the jungle. And, by the way, it has become my new favorite. Just before heading for a big brunch, cup of coffee afresh with its natural aroma in one hand, I let my body flow into some lovely Vinyasa series and let my mind getting excited for the raw cooking class, mediation time, mantra chanting, and manifestation workshop that were waiting for me in the afternoon.

4:00 pm: it was time to be getting back on my mat for more stretching. That night, the moon was to its fullest, and that night was the perfect time to be attending a sacred cacao ceremony.  It felt as if everything was meant to be for a sacred cacao ceremony that I took part in. While sipping a delicious cup of pure raw cacao, the opportunity was made for me to be connected with myself, to be finding my genuine purpose and to be fused with my destiny. Nancy was perfectly guiding us on what to be focusing our attention on as well as what to be requesting our sacred cacao cup to be making more abundant into our lives. Blissful moment! 

Can you guess what was up next? Dinner obviously!! Writing this, I am still not convinced about the reason why I am getting so overwhelmed by food. Either the idea of food itself is getting me really tasty, either meals at the Rukgala’ yoga retreat were always anticipated with inspiring conversations beside other yogis, or, and probably, a mix of both. When finishing dinner, one lovely girl inquired me either she could be healing me with her energy. Even though her request was mysterious to me, why would I be declining her offer I asked myself. Honestly, I don’t know what was the essence of her therapy and how such power can be possible, but I was feeling her energy going through my entire body like crazy. Walking back to my room, I felt that nothing was more right than to be thanking the universe for all of its magic. 

At the manifestation workshop, earlier that day, everyone was requested to be affirming sometime. As I was facing a blank page, no affirmation ideas, Nancy spoke up for me acknowledging the magical journey I was part of in Sri Lanka. To me, travelling in Sri Lanka seems like a total fairy tale, an unreal adventure, yet I must pinch myself because everything is true! Magic is embracing so warmly this island and I’m asking myself whether I’ll be discovering more about it or whether that is all, and that all is yet just perfect and so enough. 

Sunday, April 2nd 

Before saying aurevoir to these precious humans, more food and yoga practices were on my plate. Wrapping up memories from the past three days and items of mine, it was then time for me to be heading to Ella, where hikes and jungle vibes are envisioning. I might be leaving this town, but my heart will always remain.

 

Pssst: Nancy has some spots left in her up comping retreats this year. More information here. 

 

Tonight I’ve broken down by valerie minville

Tonight I’ve broken down. A delightful breakdown. 

I was over the moon for being alive; over the moon for being able to walk and travel the world; over the moon for all the possibilities that life offers us. Tonight, I came to the realization that with passion, you can honestly turn your craziest dreams into reality. 

View from the train between Kandy and Ella.

View from the train between Kandy and Ella.

Tonight, I’ve broken down peacefully because I felt so much gratitude. I felt grateful for the lovely souls into my life: the ones taking part in my journey here and the special one I just meet yet feel like I’ve known forever, @sarahhannah. I felt grateful to know that my sister is making her own way through live. I felt grateful for the guy who respects and listens to her. I felt grateful for everything that is giving to me. I felt grateful for the fresh air kissing my cheeks and the space surrounding me. I’ve also broken down because I was scared. Scared not to know what the future is holding for me. But, I also know that the future reserves me some wonderful surprises. 

I was over the moon because I felt like I am standing right where I am suppose to. This morning, it felt just right to sip my coffee in the café. I felt that ‘’déjà vue’’ moment and, oh god, I love this feeling. This sweet feeling makes you feel as if you totally belong here, right now and right there, and it’s amazing. 

Tonight, I’ve broken down pleasantly because I was overwhelmed by emotions that made me feel fully alive; the most beautiful feelings I’ve experienced. These feelings made me not want the day to be over. Yes, like a little child. It was 11pm and I reviewed my day just like we run through the pages of a book we completely adored. I’ve wandered all day, I’ve swam into the warm water of the ocean, I’ve nourished my body with delightful vitamins and I’ve drove back to my room, on my scooter, head over heals to realize how amazing today was. I wanted to scream ‘’Thank you Universe’’. It seemed to be the most freeing sound, but, at the same time, the streets were free, nice and quiet. So cruising down to the sounds of the jungle was also just perfect and as freeing. So, instead of screaming my gratitude, I let that huge thank you vibrate with me.  

Please break down sometimes xx

Nine arch bridge in Ella.

Nine arch bridge in Ella.

View from the train between Kandy and Ella.

View from the train between Kandy and Ella.

Guide: Best café / healthy bistro in Sri Lanka by valerie minville

I’ve been around Sri Lanka for more than a month now, and had the opportunity to explore many little café / healthy places to grab a good lunch. Here’s my favorites.

Nomad Café

Nomad Café

Located in behind the main street of Mirissa, Shady lane offer the best smoothie bowl around the island. Chocolate dreams and Jungle fever are my favorite of all. Their also offer delicious toasts which you basically choose your toppings between avocado, tomatoes, garlic butter mushrooms, spinach, eggs and feta. Be ready for some dam good music while you’re enjoying your meal ; Lani’s playlist is the best tropical, hip hop, chill vibes. MUST TRY: their Tropical Crush smoothie is honestly the best smoothie around!

Nomad café & boutique is the best place in Weligama if you want to grab a good iced coffee with a healthy vegan brunch after your morning surf sess, while being able to work on your personal projects. In the boutique you will find some local handmade clothes with a Spanish vibes to it. Gypsy atmosphere all around the house guaranty! MUST TRY: their chia pudding, - literally felt in love with it -  and the iced turmeric latte, perfect to get that tumeric into your body.

Meraki is the best place if you want to be a little more outside of the crazy noise of the Galle road. Located in Madhia, Meraki offer delicious Sri Lanka Coffee, Soul Coffee. Sit back and relax while you wait for your delicious French toast. Cash up your daily yoga bliss at 5PM right before heading to the Doctor’s house for a tasty pizza and a beer.

Working at Meraki. 

Working at Meraki. 

In Hiriketiya, you'll want to stay at Verse Collective if you’re a digital nomad. The architecture of the place is simply amazing: modern with an old school twist. The building is done as an open area so you can enjoy the breeze all day long. Grab a good iced coconut coffee while doing your things online surrounded by the beautiful jungle around you. Their surf shop is currently being made, but I’m pretty sure it would be stunning, just as the rest of place.

The Hummus Bar - located right beside / behind Hangtime hostel in Weligama - is a lovely little place to eat delicious and fresh homemade hummus. The guy behind that place is Lebanese, obviously, and came 2 years ago on a surf trip and he said that everyone that I’ve meet told him how much they love hummus and how much they missed it here. Tired of hear the same story over and over, is decided to open a hummus bar. Freshly made hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush (eggplant dip ) is perfect after your 5PM surf sess.

Veggies Tacos from South Coast taco bar.

Veggies Tacos from South Coast taco bar.

SouthCoast Taco bar is THE PLACE in Mirissa is you want to have the best taco of your life. They serve fresh fish taco, prawns, chicken or vegetarian tacos from 1 to 10 every day. Lay back and chill in their beautiful garden, while enjoying a Lion beer. MUST TRY: their fried aubergine and the grilled corn serve with mayo and parmesan. You’ll want to go back the next day I guaranty you! You’re welcome.

Also, make sure you stop by Café Kumbuk and her sister Kumbuk Kitchen in Colombo before head to the South. It's just amazing in all ways! 

 

Thai mango salad from Kumbuk Kitchen, Colombo. 

Thai mango salad from Kumbuk Kitchen, Colombo. 

Tea time at Café Kumbuk. 

Tea time at Café Kumbuk. 

Psssst : Let me know if ever you stop by at any of these place, I want to know what you think :)

Feeling Sri Lanka by valerie minville

It’s been exactly a month that I’ve arrived in Sri Lanka, and let me tell you how life is sooo sweet once you begin to enjoy the ride. 

By doing yoga ; eating delicious healthy food ; being in the ocean ; feeling the warm sun on my skin ; walking around town without any rush to get somewhere ; meeting lovely inspiring people and driving around rice paddies in scooter, everything so far has been absolutely amazing. I don’t mean amazing like I’m living the luxury life, I mean that I’ve recognize the little things that makes a day goes to «ok, it was another day » to « today was litteraly amazing and magical. »  

Sri Lanka is giving me so munch more that the warm temperature, pineapple and endless coconut. This country is giving me some creativity, gratitude, gratitude for my body, gratitude for that dam water -which is given to us on a platter back home - and gratitude for every little things that I own, as stupid as it sounds but like your tooth brush, that allows you to clean your teeth. 

It’s given me a chance, a chance to be the human that I was made to be by coming on the planet. To actually work for myself and not for someone else, my boss. To create something. To create a living. 

So today I’m saying thank you Sri Lanka, but most importantly thank you the universe!

Treat yourself the way you deserve it by valerie minville

Here, I always walk from my room to the beach; from my room to get the bus or from the café to elsewhere. Constant walking to reach where myself, mind and body, need and want to be. And that’s perfectly fine. I enjoy good walks. They give me the opportunity to look around. I always have been a curious one. But today, I did something slightly different from what I usually do. I haven’t walked or haven’t taken the bus to get where wanted. The commute in between the town I was and the next one required a bus ride. Mind and body didn’t feel like sitting in a bus: they felt like driving a scooty.

When I walk, I always pass by a charming surf shop, Where there's always scooters in front. And, at all times, the guys there give my the warmest hello for which I always respond back. This morning, I stopped by the shop and asked the guys to rent one of their scooters. ‘’ How much you want to pay ‘’ one of them asked. ‘’ 500 roupies for the day ’’, a.k.a 4$ CAN, I responded. Instantly. he agreed. Instantly, I was surprised because that’s pretty cheap. But this very day, I’ve allowed myself to ask for what I wanted; I’ve allowed myself to buy clothes - from this lovely lady - without any guilt; I’ve allowed myself to sip an extra delicious coffee without second thoughts; I’ve allowed myself to lay down for few minutes of perfect reading; I’ve allowed myself to be and do want I truly wanted to. Today, I treated my mind and body how they deserve to be treated and that’s a beautiful gift I offered myself. Happy Sunday peeps and please do yourself a favour. Today, do one thing for you, yourself and only you xx

What I've learned in a week in Sri Lanka by valerie minville

1      Smiling is a powerful free gift. People here always say ''Hi" when you’re walking. We were coming back from the beach and the sweetest little girl who was “taking a shower” I could say, was so happy to see us, and invited us to her house. She was saying ‘’ House coming” and we quit didn’t get it at first because people here have an accent, obviously. When we understood what she wanted to say, we definitely accepted! All the family was so happy to see us, and they wanted us to come back the next day to eat rice. Why would we pass that opportunity? Delicious rice & curry was waiting for us the next day. We went to the beach after and drink tea. Two of the five kids was speaking little bit English, but besids that we were most the time smiling to each other. The kids wanted us to come back again the next day, but we were going to the next town that day. It was a magical moment, and I’m still trying to figure out what I did to receive so much love for people I barely know

2      Walk slow and take the time to look around you, if not you will be missing beautiful creatures. Breath and enjoy. 

3         Look twice before crossing the road. We learn that in elementary school, and once we grow, we just don’t really applied that anymore. There’s some crazy drivers in the world and it comes fast, especially here. They drive like if they own the road. They’re always trying to pass cars and scooter. From now on, I won't foget what I've learned when I was young. 

4      Don’t expect anything to anyone, so you won’t be disappointed. I’ve emailed a little café to come and volunteers there and they respond to me to come by and have a chat. In the same afternoon, I took the bus, not knowing what to expect and say so them. End it up, I’ll be taking and helping them with pictures. STOKE! All items are vegan and they do brunch as well as sweets treats, and nice coffee. Located in Weligama, the café as a Spanish, gypsy and tropical vibes which fit perfectly with the spot. Stay tuned because they'll be launching the shop really soon. Check them out at

5      Help others and life will give back to you. As I was walking back for Mirissa beach, an old lady was walking with a bucket full a fresh fish. Her back was bending over on one side, and I felt so bad for here, so I went and help her out to carry the bucket until her house. Want did I hear arriving to her house? MONKEYS! They were right there jumping to trees to trees. It was 8:30 that morning and I could clearly say that my day was made! Yayyy! Thank you life.