Friday, January 27, 2012

My worst day EVER!!!

Wow, yesterday was a doozy!! Probably my most stressful and expensive day as yet.

My day started, hungover from Australia Day, packing, and heading out to breakfast.  Everything was fine until I headed out to the Airport.  I was doing my usual thing, whereas I don't really check in until I need to, because I hate airports, only to realise I had left my travel wallet with my passport in my hotel safe.  FAAAAAAAAARK!!! I jumped on a motorbike and fanged in into Siem Reap, ran up 2 flights of stairs and raced back to the airport but I had missed check in by 10 minutes.  No matter how much begging or pleading I couldn't let them to let me through.  So, I got the duty manager over and basically said to him, I need to be in KL in 17 hours, no, there is a time difference, 16 hours, for another flight. How do we make it happen?  He assured me that there were no more flights to KL, to which I responded to check through Bangkok and also through Vietnam.  Vietnam was going to arrive too late for my connecting flight, but Bangkok was fine.  We managed to get me on the flight despite Chinese New Year celebrations.  550 bucks and a tip to the duty manager later, we are all good.

I was all checked on when the duty manager asked me if I wanted to check on my back pack.  Usually I take it on board with me as I check a suitcase, but the thought of carrying it around Bangkok airport for a few hours was enough to convince me to check it this time, as my suitcase was being stored at the Pan Pacific in KL.  So, bags checked, sitting in the hall. All is well and good.  I keep a close eye on the departure windows because I am sure not missing this flight. I watch. "Checking in" is all that is on the screen, until I hear my name being read out and to see the staff for flight XYZ to Bangkok immediately.  I couldn't believe it, there was no way I was being called for my flight!! So, I presented myself only to hear the words "I am really sorry sir, but I regret to inform you that..." My heart sank into my chest..."because of your late addition to the flight we don't have a meal for you".  I started laughing! "Oh my God, is that all??  It's a one hour flight! thats fine!"  They offered to pack me a lunch but I assured them everything was ok.

So I make my way onto the plane, still holding my heart and laughing to myself (they actually let me skip the line) and we were on our way to Bangkok.

I have made my mind up about Bangkok Airport. It blows.  I hate it.  Its hard to navigate. Nothing makes sense. Its way too spread out. On top of all that, you have to pay for wifi, and it costs nearly 10 bucks an hour!! That is disgusting!!! But I bought my wifi and entertained myself until my flight boarded.  I slept a bit until woken, why flight attendants feel the need to wake you to see if you want a meal I'll never know, I am always perfectly happy in my slumber.  Anyway, the flight was uneventful until I got off the plane to pick up my bag.  Immediately I could see that it had been opened ands I knew what was missing... I had left my wallet in my bag and it was now missing.  I was livid! I loved that wallet and I was more mad because I hate Bangkok Airport and so I just wanted a valid excuse to hate on that turd of an airport! So I reported my wallet missing and was thankful that when booking a hotel earlier in the day I chose the convenient, albeit expensive, option and booked into the Pan Pacific which is a lovely hotel within the airport complex.  I was annoyed and upset when I rocked up, but immediately they recognised my name in the system and upgraded me to a nicer room and business suite which made for a nice positive change to an otherwise expensive day!  At least some people know how to treat me on this continent! The staff would wouldn't dare think of stealing my wallet.  ARG!!!

Anyway, day of disaster over!! I am in a very comfortable bed and waiting for my wake up call to move the check in counter, early of course.

What about you?  Have you ever had shocking travel days??

Let me know!!

Until next time,

Daniel

Twitter @TheDanFactor

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bangkok - A Mojito as big as my head.

While in Bangkok I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of mine, Cherry. Cherry and I went  on exchange together to the United States 12 years ago and hadn't seen each other since.  We went to some local eating stalls and had some incredible Thai food before heading to Salt, a bar/restaurant.  This place served HUGE Mojitos. I mean huge. The glasses they come in are bigger than Hoegarden glasses!! Just. Massive.  Anyway I decided to have one, because something that large needs to be conquered.  However, unfortunately they had run out of glasses so they asked me if it was ok to serve it in an ice bucket... of course it was!!!  

Pretty good mojito!!

Cherry inspecting my "glass".


Cherry and her partner, Saritpon


Was great to see her again.  She is one of those people that when you sit down and talk to, it feels like no time has past!!

Until tomorrow, AUSTRALIA DAY!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things in Bangkok - Great Palace

Sorry I have been online for a few days! I have been busy starting up a business with a friend of mine and for a few days have been locked in my hotel room researching and preparing for a meeting, which coincidently, went very well!!

However, after a day and a half locked in my room in Bangkok I decided that there was no way I wasn't going to see some of the city.  So I ventured out and headed to the Grand Palace, and reclining buddha (post on Reclining Buddha here).

I have to say, I was pretty awestruck when I first saw the Grand Palace.  I was a bit hesitant to go see it as there are many temples and shrines in Asia and one can get tired of them but I was amazed at this palace.  This is the sort of place that Donald Trump wishes his place could look like - a palace covered with gold, mirror and coloured glass mosaics.  Except somehow you don't think "tacky" when you see it done in Asia.  When Trump just does tacky - very, very well.

The Grand Palace is located in old Bangkok.  You need to get a tuk-tuk or taxi there as the sky train doesn't go that far, though alternatively you can also take a boat/ferry as it is by the river.  I did try to get scammed about three times by people coming up in "tourist police" uniforms asking what I was doing, responding in shock when I said the Grand Palace as "it closes at 1 o'clock, but if you take a tuk-tuk you can see other places".  They then proceed to take you to other shrines etc but stop off at a place on the way, usually a jewellery store and say they are out of fuel, so you may as feel look at the store while the driver gets fuel.  The driver then gets paid for bring you to the store, and you don't get to see the Palace.  I however did not fall for said scam or plastic identity badge, how cynical of me, and we inside and saw the palace. 

I just thought I would leave you with some of my favourite photo's from the day for you to enjoy! :) 








The dragon below has a ball in it;s mouth, it is said to be good luck if you can remove it from its mouth.  Impossible, I tried!  And I am pretty strong! ;)



Until next time,

Daniel

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Things in Bangkok - Reclining Buddha has nipples....

After the Grand Palace (see post here) I made my way to the Reclining Buddha. This is a must see, even if just to ask yourself how/why they put such a piss-off big buddha in such a small teeny room? Well, in comparison anyway.  OH and get this, the Buddha has nipples!!  Seriously!! And just quietly, I think the buddha may be a little chilly!  But then, the buddha does have a butt. Not joking, he has no butt whatsoever!! Just sayin'!!!

The giant Reclining Buddha... and his erect nipple.

Buddha has a one cheek flat bum!!

This isn't the building the Buddha was in, but it was pretty.

Doesn't this statue look like it could come alive and kill you with mystical kung fu powers?  Creepy.

Sexual Harassment Buddha says STOP to nipple perving!! 

And so does all his sexual harassment buddha friends!  

Until next time,

Daniel
Twitter @TheDanFactor

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to make shakes which are better than sex

I think I have completely fallen in love with the fruit shakes here in Asia. Honestly, the shakes in Asia are to die for... TO. DIE. FOR!  I could be told I would never be able to have sex again and if I had one of these shakes instead, I wouldn't be sad...

The main four shakes are watermelon, mango, pineapple and banana.

Mango/Pineapple/Watermelon shakes:





Half a mango/some pineapple/some watermelon depending on which you prefer
a shot (30mls) of sugar syrup
a cup of ice cubes
2 shots of malibu or something else to spice it up (optional, but recommended) ;)

(you could use some milk in this recipe if you wanted, but I prefer without, and they are usually made that way)

Put in a blender and blend

Banana shakes:
one banana
a splash of milk
a shot (30mls) of sugar syrup
a cup of ice cubes

Put in a blender and blend

Perfect for summer and VERY healthy!!

Enjoy!!!

Until next time,

Daniel



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The results of my one week health kick.

Hi All,
since me in my underwear was one of (but no the most) popular posts I've written so far, I decided to do a week health kick to get my body back into tip tip waterfall climbing shape. Just in case such instances arise again!!!

Basically, the changes I made to my daily routine I outlined here.  But importantly, I did take up yoga classes and went to at least one class every day except Sunday. God doesn't like yoga.  Most days I tried to do two sessions minimum, but if my body wasn't feeling up to it or if I was week from the stupid diet I put myself on I cut it to one.  A couple of days I did three classes, that four hours of yoga in one day, baby!

So, I cannot speak with absolute certainty as to how much weight I lost because I didn't measure myself at the start of the week, but I did about day two and I weighed 83.5kg (184lb).  I just finished my last class for yoga (I could do two more tonight but I have a plane to catch), and I just weighed myself again... 79.3kg (174.8lb) BITCHEZ!!!!!  That's 4.2 kgs (9.3lb)  In seven days.  Pretty impressive.  I have to say my boy feels so much better.  Not really from the diet (because the food from the yoga place was shite and tasted like fart) but I am really noticing that my body is much more limber and I feel taller.

So, what has been your best health kick experience??  If you don't have one, well... I just wanna brag!! Ner ner ni ner ner!!

Just kidding, but seriously, I rock! ;)

Don't forget to comment, subscribe, or like on Facebook!!

Until next time,

Daniel


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Monday, January 16, 2012

My Yoga Retreat - Koh Samui




I'm shattered.  As I write this I am lying in my bed, about to take a nap, thoroughly exhausted.  Over the last 6 days I have done over 11 hours of yoga and I've been on a pretty strict diet.

About a week ago I took out a one week unlimited pass to Absolute Yoga, Koh Samui's premier yoga retreat.  The retreat is 5 star, has its own bar (non-alcoholic and smoke free), infinity pool, massage and health centre and is designed much like a moroccan village.  The villas are a rich turmeric like colour which is completely different to anything else on Koh Samui, which I have seen anyway.  The retreat offers a variety of packages, but most revolve around either the yoga sessions or the detox program. There are about four yoga classes a day, in different styles, and a meditation/breathing session.  They also have 3 detox programs going on.  The ultimate Cleanse, a vegetarian detox and I think the other one was a liver cleanse... not sure.

Anyway, after checking the prices, I just wanted the yoga.  A full week on the detox program and the yoga was 45,000 THB, about 1,500 dollars.  An unlimited pass to the yoga classes is only 2000 THB.... you do the maths.  Also, I used Noi to get me a great deal at a 5 star villa, I used a private taxi (more expensive than the public ones) AND I ate at my 5 star restart restaurant instead of their astoundingly expensive restaurant and I managed to get the overall cost down to about 50% of what they were charging.  So you could easily get it down less than that if you wanted to stay and eat somewhere cheaper.

But anyway, the yoga.  I am about as flexible as a dried stick.  My health otherwise is quite good.  I normally eat quite well and exercise a few times a week.  I just can't touch my toes to save my life.  I haven't been able to properly cross my legs since I was 12... I can't do downward dog, or twist around so I look like a pretzel... something most of the other people in the class seem to be able to do with little difficulty..  In fact, I was so bad I had cushions placed around me to get me into the right position so I could feel the stretch it was a bit frustrating, especially when I had to move in and out of poses, and use the downward dog as the "rest pose"... I had to move all the cushions do the poses quickly to keep up, then back into the next pose... and more cushions...

Actually, that's probably a little exaggerated, but I did find some of the poses quite difficult, even with the help of said implements. Actually, I speak no word of a lie here, during one of the classes I ended up sliding along the floor... wait for it... on my shoulders... it gets better... with my feet touching the floor..and the corker... until I hit a mirror.  I was so sweaty I slid about 2 metres across the floor on my head!!! Embarrassing much??  :)

I have to say though, after six days my body does feel much better. I actually do feel more limber, I have lost about 2 kgs this week, and my body looks better.

Here are some freaky things I learned about myself, or yoga.

1./  Some of them do absolutely insane "cleansing" rituals.  No joke, one of my teachers had swallowed a rag, with a bit in his mouth, left it for half an hour, then pulled in back out again.  WTF?????   Oh, and something else, e said he had seen people swallow things, long rags I guess, leaving some in the mouth until it came out the other end and they pulled it ALL THE WAY THROUGH THEIR BODY!!!! That's filthy!!!

2./  Apparently, if you have high knees when you sit upright and bring your feet into your crotch it means you are holding in a lot of emotion from either this life or past ones, which has been traumatic.  Yeah, that upper middle class life was TOUGH!

3./  I can easily sweat out a litre of fluid in an hour and a half.  My yoga mat and towel were disgusting.

4./  Not all yoga teachers are hot... or even sane... but they are fun!

But, at the end of the day I highly recommend the experience.  I was trying to use my pass as much as possible so did quite a few classes which probably wore me out more than most, but I do feel great for it.  So whether you book and stay at Absolute Yoga, or somewhere else and just get a weekly pass it worth doing.

Until next time,

Daniel

Sunday, January 15, 2012

7 ways to stay in shape (or get back into it) while on vacation.

Alright, so despite all my positive comments regarding my waterfall photo's, where I was climbing waterfalls in my underwear (see here) I've actually put on about 5-6 kilo's (about 11 pounds) since I left Perth in early November and have been hovering around the 83-84kg (185lb) mark, awfully close to "my line".

I have theory everyone should have "a line" which is the weight limit that when you hit you say to yourself "MMhmmmm GURl, if you don't start moving yo ass Shaniqua and Tashayshay will be awl up in yo grill hollerin' 'Baby Got Back'. So get yo hands off dat fried chicken...".

My line is 85kg, and I prefer to be at 75kg (165lbs) but it takes me more and more effort to get back down there these days. Stupid ageing.

But when I am getting back into shape, I have six easy ways to not dramatically alter what I do to start getting back on the healthy train while on holiday.


1./  Cut soft-drink, Drink more water - go for 4 litres a day.






Soft drink, soda, pop, fizzy drink, water you want to call it, it is REALLY bad for you.  Stop drinking it.  Replace with water, 4 litres a day, to start see some great results.  There is that old misconception that you only lose weight drinking so much water because you make so may dashes to the loo.  While that is true is that you have to move your butt to the loo a few more times a day it works for other reasons as well.  Your body actually retains water naturally (as it also retains energy from food etc) and by providing your body with a constant supply of water will cause your body to release it.  But the good part is, one of the places water is retained is right under the skin.  So if you are wondering why you can't get that tight skin look this might be the reason!  To help get my 4 litres a day up, I switch my usual drinks to soda water, which I think counts.

2,.  Carry around a few snack sized tins of tuna (and some spearmint gum)
Wanna know why, because you are suppose to eat more meals a day to increase you metabolism - six is the recommended amount.  But shoot, who has time to think of all that right? Who wants to prepare six meals? I can when I'm at home, but on holiday, nope.  But if you have a tin of tuna, you can knock one of those suckers back every few hours if you have nothing else and you have no excuse to not.  Foods high in protein (tune is) also help you feel fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to need to snack on unhealthy foods.

3./  Implement the "Value for Calorie" concept
A friend of mine in Melbourne introduced this to me.  I was discussing how, when I was in training to lose weight, I would limit myself to four alcoholic drinks a week.  The result being, that when I actually had a drink, it was a drink I really wanted.  So instead of having 8 Budweisers in a week (*shudders*) I might have four Fat Yaks, or four nice aged scotches.  Also, because I wasn't buying as many drinks I could justify paying more for the drinks I was having.  My friend used the same process for food.  Instead of eating a lot of something that was ok or average, but not very good for you, limit yourself, and spend a bit more on something that was really good, but there was less of it.  So, aside from the booze example.  Why buy a bucket of cheap lollies, when you could have a small block of delicious gourmet chocolate?  It tastes better, and it ends up being better for you!  Or allow yourself ice cream 3 times a week only, but get the nicer stuff!

4./  Exercise where you can
You should be trying to exercise for 30-40 mins a day.  If anything else it will just make you feel great.  This doesn't have to be a chore though.
Why not:

  1. go for a bike ride around town rather than taxi? 
  2. go for a walk at sunrise/sunset? 
  3. take up ocean swimming while away or use the hotel pool? 
  4. take a yoga class?
  5. have a lot more sex (it counts, but only if you are active.  No star fish!!!)
Aren't you glad I didn't put up a photo of two people having sex???


See, exercise doesn't have to be boring!!! :)

5./ Cut carbs in the evening






This can be hard because it includes alcohol and night time is usually when you drink.  But it also includes things like pasta's, white rice, breads, fruits (though not s bad) etc.  Go for some meat and vegetable dish instead and have your pasta etc at lunch time.

6./ Give yourself a challenge!!
I found two great internet programs to get you doing either 100 consecutive pushups or 200 consecutive sit-ups. It takes longer than you would normally be on break, it's about six weeks, but it is a great way to set some goals and strive for them while you have some time to yourself!

For 100 push up challenge go here.

For 200 sit up challenge go here.

7./  Take up daily massages.






They are good for your health... right??  If they are obscenely cheap, do it!! :)

What about you, do you have any health tips for while on holiday, or just in general?

Until next time!!

Daniel



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Rainy day blues!




It's bucketing down today in Koh Samui! I'm not sure why I'm so surprised.  TGhe forecast has been gloomy for weeks but the rains have finally come.  So instead of going out and trying to see things I'm spending the day in my hotel.  I think I'll do a little writing, a little planning for the week and I had the idea to watch the entire Godfather trilogy.  Well, that was until I saw how long they are. Godfather one and two are at least 3 hours long!!! I'm not going to lie.  The copies I had MAY not be pirated, but... oh, who am I kidding, the bloke who sold them to me may as well have had a wooden leg and a parrot on his shoulder!!  I never realised they were so long though!!  Bloody hell!

But I always think a day spent a hotel is a day wasted. I love getting out, doing things and meeting people.

So, aside from being a vegetable, I am progressing my fitness regime.  Yes, I am determined to get back in shape even if I am travelling!  I have put on about 6 kgs since I left Perth... SIX!!  And I have definitely lost muscle so I have probably put on more fat than that.  So, I'm cutting the boost, detoxing, checking into a yoga retreat and I've contacted my old trainer for some "low equipment" workouts, since hotel gyms can be quite bare.

But my question for you is, what do you like to do on rainy days either on holidays or in general.

Oh, and any fitness tips for while travelling?  Let me know and if I like them I'll put them in my next post!

Comment below or on Facebook.

Don't forget to like and subscribe!! :)

Until next time,

Daniel

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Are you working a job you hate, to buy sh*t you don't need?


That is one of my favourite lines in any movie. 

The line comes from the film Fight Club, when Brad Pitts character, Tyler, is consoling the narrater(the character is never actually named) after there was an explosion in his house where the narrater "lost everything".

About a month ago, I was sitting on a beach in Cambodia after scuba diving for 6 days (you can read about it here) when I sat down and had a chat with my instructor who had given up the office life in London to be a scuba diver in ... well... paradise.  We were having a conversation about what is important in society, and what is important in life, and how they can contradict each other.  

If you take a big picture approach, you could probably assume that most people want to be happy. End of story. Any successes which are achieved or aimed for are merely a conduit to improve ones lifestyle and, therefore, assumed happiness.  Therefore, career wise, we usually have two options, we "take a job for the love" or we "take the cash, working towards a career".  Not to mention the old adage "if you find a job you love you'll never have to work another day in your life".  But, unfortunately, research doesn't back up these things improving happiness. Sure, not having enough money will increase your unhappiness, but once your basic needs are met, your happiness plateaus. A study in the US found that the salary level in which happiness plateau's is $75,000. This means, that there is no intrinsic gain to your level of happiness between earning $75,000 a year, and $500,000 a year. It is merely an illusion which highly paid employees uphold, and everyone else believes.

Unfortunately though, most people, when given the opportunity in Job A or Job B, will take the cash every time.  Even if it involves less time to yourself, more overtime, less time with your family an being on call.  Why?  Is it because happiness is difficult to measure, but salary isn't? Is it because we constantly measure our possessions against others in society?  

Taking to Rachel, my scuba instructor, her, and many others in the area work for little money but have their basic needs met. They get shelter and food supplied, and with their salary can afford clothing. They work in a small village, so have none to really measure their possessions against.  Not only that, they actively do things to leave a legacy and a positive impact on the community around them.  And they are all happier than when they lived in the city and worked a 9-5 had nice suits and a flash car.  The salary as a diver is awful, but the quality of life is better, as is the level of happiness.  

If you looked at what society has us do, it is set goals and work towards achieving those goals.  If you have a higher paid job, a nicer car, better stock options, or a new flash fresh water pool, you are usually considered "more successful" than someone who earns less that you. But if these things don't bring happiness, at the end of the day, is there a point to it?

I am trekking around Asia, with a backpack and a suitcase of clothes (as I am moving to London), and I can't help thinking how much unnecessary stuff I have.  I have a suitcase and a back pack.  I actually find it really liberating to not have many goods, not be paying off a car, and not being worried about that new sofa which I just had stain protected.  But I say again, with the little I have, I actually think I have too much. It's too much of an inconvenience for me to carry around and look after.

And it is amazing how many travellers say the same thing - "It's not until you travel for an extended period of time, that you realise how little you actually need".

So, my question is, are you working a job you don't like in order to buy things you don't need? Are you putting your time and energies into things which actually will improve your happiness?  

(If you want to read up more on this, there is a fantastic blog, much better than mine,  that goes over this and other topics at  www.youarenotsosmart.com)
Until next time,
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

6 things from Asia to laugh at - toilet humour! :)

OK, it's giggle time.

I'm pro... whatever pro you need to be to support everyone being able to do what they want.  Doesn't mean I can't laugh at you though!

Not hilarious, but always makes me smile, this girl had just noticed herself on my camera display and couldn't stop laughing! 

Just in case you were thinking it was ok to use a urinal to wash your hands... it not, apparently...


 And this is weirder than the last. What the? I'm NOT allowed to clean my shoes or take a shower with the toilet hose??  Kill joys!


 At first I thought this meant no sex in the taxi van.  But then Monisha pointed out it obviously meant no HETRO sex in the van.  Of course!  :-/

At first, I thought this was a really nasty derogatory t-shirt and was thinking, "man, you allow gays to have sex in vans but then say gays cause AIDS... that's really mean!".  On second look though I figured out what it meant.  Sex standing up causes AIDS.  Makes sense, I guess.  Or maybe spanking causes AIDS... I dunno.

Hope that gave you a chuckle before the weekend.

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Until next time,


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My final supper!

Contrary to popular belief, since I have begun travelling I actually have been packing on the kilo's like it's no one else's business! So last night I decided, that even though I am travelling, I need to cut out some of the excessive living and get my healthy on!!

To make sureI went out with a bang, last night I was talking to a friend back home who also digs his food and we picked out a room service meal for kings! Then I went to the hotel restaurant to eat because I  think there is nothing more depressing than ordering room service unless its a)breakfast, b)really late or c)you've been drinking ( oh come on, who isn't craving wok fried egg noodles after a night out!!!)

So, I wondered down to the beach restaurant, sat in a day bed and promptly ordred the below.  It was SOOOO  good!!

 To start with, cognac flavoured crab bisque, garnished with crab meta and served with pizza bread.

 Fried fillet of sea bass with white wine, caper and shrimp butter, served with sautéed zucchini and vegetables. 
A side of wedges 

Kahlua and chocolate flavoured mousse.  I'm not even apologising.... I enjoyed this with an espresso martini.

The net gain of my caffeine saturated dessert was that I couldn't sleep til 5 and I missed my morning yoga.  Fitness fail.  But screw it, it was worth it!!

What say you? Do you have any cheeky dishes you occasionally indulge in?

Let me know!

Until next time,

Daniel

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

6 ways to live life like you're on vacation everyday!

The last few days I have been wondering about how to maintain some sort of holiday lifestyle when not on vacation!  It seems so many people work crazy hours, just to spend a few weeks unwinding before getting back into the daily grind.  So I had a bit of a think today, while sitting in my 5 star airconditioned hotel villa in tropical Thailand, about how one can bring some of the holiday lifestyle back into 'normal life'. This is what I came up with....

1./  Pamper yourself in small easy ways.
Quality hotels love to pamper their guests, because unless you know someone like Noi (see here), you are paying a lot of money to stay at their hotel, and they want you back.  But the reality is, a lot of the "little extras" don't actually cost too much, they just need some forethought.  So, in order to pamper yourself a little bit as if you were on holiday why don't you:
  • Roll up your towels and leave them sitting by the bathtub, or near the shower.
  • Pick some flowers from your garden then before you use the bathtub, sprinkle some into the water, maybe even light a candle or oil well, walk back out of the bathroom, put on a fluffy robe and come back in.
Roll petals and rolled up towels!

  • Get your partner to leave you a few gifts around the house occasionally. A gourmet block of chocolate.  Some unique specialty soap.  A new crisp newspaper or magazine.  Do the same for them!!
  • Eat more fruit.  Seriously, how much more fruit do you eat while on holidays, just because it is cut up for you or you are not sure if anchovy flavoured oatmeal will taste any good!  Eat the banana instead of the chips.
  • Stop drinking instant coffee.  Just, no.  Buy a coffee plunger and wait the extra three minutes. Use that time to read a magazine, make a quick meal or breakfast, or cut up some fruit!  Maybe even try switching to some exotic teas!  They are really good, I promise, but do try for loose leaf!
2./  Learn something new!
  • Its amazing how many people go on holiday and THEN decide to take a cooking class (read about mine here), Yoga class, or language course.  Um, where are you from, Uzbekistan? Chances are you can do these courses at home. So go, book them in, and make sure you give them priority and don't stay back at work. Seriously, go book them in... NOW!
Khmer Amok from my cooking class. See here

3./  Get more sleep!  
  • Listen to your body clock... you're tired.  Criminal Minds isn't that good, I promise.  And sleep with your curtains open.  You will wake up naturally with the light.
4./  Give something back!
  • Its also incredible to see how many people come overseas to spend time in an orphanage, or community building, teaching English (like I am), or the like.  It makes sense, you feel like you are making a difference and helping people.  It feels amazing, like nothing else.  But there are many ways you can do this already at home.  There are amazing organisations like Rotary Internation and the Lions Club are always doing community projects. Youth Focus (Perth, WA) is constanly looking for "big brothers" and I assume sisters to act as mentors to troubled youths!  Two of my favourite people, my mother and Momo spend time volunteering at a local hospice!  There are lots of opportunities to do good at home!
 Children playing at Jimmy's school.

Me teaching tha kids to speak good English, 'ay!

5./ Be open to meeting new people.  
  • Know someone who's coming through the area, or have a friend who has?  Do you have a spare bed, couch, piece of floor, dog mat???  Chances are someone would love the opportunity for some free board and it's a great way to meet people.  The guy I spent NYE with, Alex, is from Germany and he met my Mum in Canberra before coming to Perth.  Mum had already called ahead for him so he could crash on my couch.  Meeting more people can only lead to greater things. Make an effort to try to got to a new place on a regular basis, even if it's just once a month.
Despite hanging out a few times (this time is in Thailand), this is the only photo in existance of Alex and I.  I was laughing coz he couldn't get his camera to work after calling everyone else retards for not being able to press the button.  Viola! Bad pic of Dan, good pic of Alex!

6./ Food
  • Because sometimes, you are just meant to eat that extra course, or order that one more thing to share with everyone... just to try it!!!
  • But do eat more fresh fruit!! Its good for you and your skin.  Your body will thank you.

What say you?  Do you have any tips or tricks for bringing holiday mode back into the real world?

Until next time,

Daniel
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