Yoga at the beach

When I was living in Paris, many people would talk to me about the benefits of practising yoga. Life in a big city can be stressful between your job, the commute, busy people and so little time to enjoy life. I was curious about it and I thought maybe I should try and see by myself how it feels. So I enrolled to a class and it was good but I did not connect with it and I stopped after a few sessions. Some of my friends were surprised as they really believed that it would fit with my personality but sometimes all it takes is to meet the right person.

And it happened… with patience… many years after in another country actually. Life, work and opportunities took me to London (UK) for a year and this is where I met the most amazing yoga teacher you can imagine. And have you also noticed that often the best things that happen to you in life, are very often the ones that you were not looking for. It is like sometimes, life has little gifts for you. And this is what happened to me with Mieke ūüôā at that time I was really not thinking about yoga or anything and I found a card in my letter box and I was about to throw it directly in the bin, but some words caught my attention ¬†because I could relate to them. And this is how I started yoga sessions, 5 times a week with the adorable Mieke. And you can’t imagine how much it helped me at a time I needed it the most in my life. At the beginning I remember it was challenging because it was in English and I did not know the names of the postures etc… but then I got used to (watching her mainly and associating images with words) and now I can’t imagine yoga in another language than English, funny isn’t it?

Now that I am living in Australia, I still practise sometimes yoga on my own thanks to internet and when I find the time to do so. It is a very calming and grounding activity that I highly recommend. Besides I must say that with this beautiful weather I had the opportunity to go and practise yoga at the beach and it was a great experience with all these beautiful colours, the sound of the waves rolling on the beach and this beautiful sun in this vibrant blue sky. It was like a dream and practising yoga in such a beautiful setting made me feel very grateful. Besides I had the opportunity to teach some postures to some of my friends (Jessica from Mexico and Liliana from Venezuela) and they really enjoyed it! It is a good way to feel connected with earth and feel your stress leaving you as you are embracing yoga with all of your heart, letting go, no where to go, no where to be, just in the present moment!

Namaste! ‚̧

Looking beyond the horizon

“Being happy does not mean everything is perfect, it means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way

My friend Jessica (Mexico) often says that people come to your life for a specific reason. Sometimes it is to teach you something about life or yourself, sometimes it is to bring you love and kindness, sometimes to challenge you… and you have to embrace this feeling!

There will be¬†sometimes, when living abroad, when you will feel frustrated, like nothing is working the way you want and you don’t really understand why because you are trying your best. It is a strange feeling that many foreigners experience because we are far away from our country, our culture, our family… and everything is new and different. The key is to learn to adapt as quickly as possible which is not always easy. But you can’t do this alone, you have to surround yourself with true friends. Friends who will become your second family, friends you choose because they are “like” you, friends who will show you the way when you are lost, friends who will be there for you no matter what. These people will make a big difference not just in your day but also in your life and you will do the same for them too, sometimes without even realising it!

Picnic time in the grass

I recall once I had a “perfect” day with¬†my friend Liliana (Venezuela) and it felt really nice. We did not do anything “spectacular”, we were just 2 girls sharing a nice picnic together, taking pictures/selfies, enjoying a good conversation! But it was sooooo good. Sometimes you think¬†that you need complicated things to be happy and you can feel frustrated thinking that it is going to be hard to get them but thinking of it most of the time it is the simplest things that make you really happy. Think of it, try to remember when was the last time you really felt happy and I am sure ¬†you are going to realise that it was something very simple.

It can be a smile, a compliment, a nice walk, something nice to eat, a beautiful bird passing by… you don’t need your day to be perfect to feel it is perfect, you just need to collect moments, those who make a difference in the rest of your day and will accompany you the rest of your week. And sometimes, total strangers will make a difference too without knowing it, just because they are genuinely nice and friendly when you need it the most.

So yes, all in all it does not have to be perfect and does perfection really exists anyway? The most important is not to be fooled by imperfections, not to focus on them but rather look beyond them, what really matters and enjoy ūüôā

Life is beautiful like a nice walk on the beach

Chez José

Last Christmas, I was in France and I had the opportunity to meet my brother’s lovely girl friend who happens to live in Montreal. Talking with her about this beautiful city brought back some memories. Oh Canada, Canada… you are not a country, you are a season! And as for you Montreal, you are my morning Bagel at Saint Viateur, you are this cute maple leaf on the sidewalk, you are my enchanting stroll¬†in Mont-Royal Park, you are my chai latte at caf√© Pikolo, you are my bubble tea in China town, you are my favourite ride along Saint Laurent river, you are my matcha ice cream at Jean Talon market, you are this lovely blue sky even when it is so cold outside. ¬†And my heart just melts¬†when you are wearing your majestic white coat that gives me the feeling that for a minute the time just stopped.

I am so far away from you now, it is summer here in Adelaide and still winter for you. But lately you have been a lot in my mind. So I thought today, I would share with you one of my favourite place for a delicious sandwich in Montreal ūüôā should you ever visit this beautiful city!

As for many French people, Le Plateau, is my kingdom. I know that Canadians like to joke about the fact that obviously French people must be missing so¬†much the Parisian expensive lifestyle¬†that they are¬†attracted like magnets to the trendy Plateau area… What can I say?!¬†¬†I like the atmosphere, the little caf√©s, the shops and the artistic vibes all around.

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Colourful, vibrant, local!

In a charming¬†little street stands a funky Portuguese caf√© called¬†“Chez Jos√©”. A cute¬†and tiny little place¬†that tends to get crowded at busy hours, but the food they serve makes the wait worth it.¬†If my memory is is correct, I had a lunch combo (smoothie + sandwich) for something like 10 dollars! I must say this spicy sandwich was something very special… and normally spicy is NOT my thing but… I guess when you find something special, some rules may not apply… the chicken was¬†thinly sliced and paired so well with the homemade hot sauce, the cheese and the avocado. I really enjoyed each bite of it. It was fresh, it was delicious, it felt very local and typical!

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This sandwich is killing me softly with its sweet spicy sauce!

Sometimes, you discover little gems like “chez Jos√©”¬†and you are so grateful they do exist. How can a simple sandwich make your day?! Was it just about this sandwich or the whole journey?! Walking in this little street, looking for this address, spotting this graffiti wall, gazing at all these vibrant colours, looking at the people queuing happily outside, trying to imagine who they are, discovering new flavours and being overwhelmed by this new experience… I think it was a mix of everything. Next time I will go back there, I will just order the same but this time I make sure I won’t go on my own and share this precious moment hoping that it will be once again a¬†delightful moment ¬†‚̧

“Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing” Steve Jobs


Chez José

  • 173 Avenue Duluth E
    Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 РPlateau-Mont-Royal 
  • ¬†Phone number(438) 764-1381
  • ¬† Website www.chezjosecafe.com
  • ¬†Cash only

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting¬†on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day ūüėČ

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can ūüėČ

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need¬†is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with¬†line¬†and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore¬†beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ‚̧

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing¬†is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it¬†very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ‚̧

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep ūüėČ

 

Happy Mauvember!

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When Spring looks like a French Autumn, the only thing you can do is put a hat on, grab your bestie and chill out with a latte! Nasim (from Iran) and I are always on the same page when it comes to enjoy life at its best!

Spring has been so lazy to come this year. We experienced a lot of morning showers, grey sky, wind and some severe storms in September and October. In one hand, it was a bit depressing¬†+¬†there was a “major” water leaking in my house (one morning I woke up and water was coming from the ceiling, click here for the full story) but in the other hand, it is really good for mother nature because the trees and flowers look amazing right now with beautiful deep and lively colours. I guess you can’t have it all!

These past few days, spring is back on the track and it feels good to wake up with a big bright sun in the bedroom. I like to ride my green bike in the parks with this beautiful weather and explore new places whenever possible. In Australia, you have to wear an helmet (it is the law) and I must say when the weather is warm (sometimes around 40 something) I miss to feel the refreshing wind in my hair when biking! But again, I know this is for my own good so I am just going with the flow…

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A romantic vision of a young girl with¬†a white dress walking on the Jacarandas’petals on a sunny spring day.

Maybe you will think I am a fool but one thing I was really expecting was to see the Jacarandas blooming! They are my favourite trees and their romantic purple flowers appear the first weeks of November announcing that spring is here and summer is only a month¬†away. This year, because of the strange weather, the Jacarandas only started now to spread their vibrant¬†colours in the whole city. Their mauve flowers petals are falling on the¬†pavement¬†like confettis and it brings a “je ne sais quoi” to the streets of Adelaide. Someday when I will own a house with a garden I will plant a Jacaranda tree to gaze at it!

At the moment, my friend Jessica (Mexico) is encouraging me to practise “mindfulness”. I started doing it in London with my yoga teacher and I must say it is a really calming and grounding state of mind. We are so busy with our everyday lives sometimes, worrying about the past and the future that we forget to fully live the present moment. Maybe it will seem odd to some of you but sometimes just taking the time to stop for a minute and gaze at a tree or a flower¬†can make a big difference ¬†in the rest of your day ‚̧

Just try it and tell me in the comments below how it felt!

Twinsters

I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a Netflix account where I can watch on demand films and TV shows (speaking of the latter, did you hear about the Gilmore Girls being back?!!! I don’t want to gossip but I bet Rory is pregnant and Lorealai is freaking out.. as for Luke I am sure he is going to propose to L). I like to think of my life here in Adelaide like a good “old” GG show, by the way still haven’t found Luke’s Caf√© but I am still looking and opened to any recomandation ūüėČ

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This is the kind of food, Luke would definitely serve! You can enjoy this breakfast at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.


Lately, as I was browsing on Netflix, I decided to have a look at the documentary section and one called “Twinsters” (fusion of the word Twins and Sisters) caught my eye and I decided to go for it. So basically, the story line is that in 2013 Samantha Futerman, a 25 years old American Asian girl living in Los Angeles and using youtube to post funny videos received a life changing message via Facebook from Ana√Įs Bordier, a French Asian fashion design student living in London. Actually Ana√Įs friends watched a video on youtube featuring Samantha and they were so surprised by the identical appearance of the 2 girls that they encouraged her to contact her copycat! After a few Skype sessions, the girls discovered that they¬†shared much more than just the same face: it turned out that they were both born the same day and both were adopted in Korea shortly after they were born!!! Could it be possible, could they by any chance be twin sisters?! This documentary is about the journey of Samantha (American) and Ana√Įs (French) discovering¬†about their past, their history and the bond that they may share together through social medias.DSC_0057

I believe it is a real sweet story and I really enjoyed watching it, witnessing the different emotions these two amazing girls (and their respective French + American families) explored. What stroke me the most while watching this documentary is how life found a way to reunite these two girls that shared different lifestyles, cultures and mother tongues. It is like no matter what, it was meant to be. How perfect it is that Samantha Futerman (the American) was making cool and fun videos on Youtube that will be seen overseas (and obviously in UK) and what were the chances that Ana√Įs Bordier (the French) would decide to study fashion design in London and become fluent in English. Even if the two girls were raised in different countries and not sharing the same mother tongue, they were able to communicate straight away in English together which made the relationship between the 2 way easier. They both chose artistic careers, one being an actress and the other being a fashion designer, they are so similar and so different at the same time… so interesting to hear about their journey.

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But beyond that, it makes you reflect on your own story, your family, the bond you share with them, your relationships. It makes you appreciate even more the luck to have  grown with your siblings. What it feels like to have a sister, a brother (maybe both). What they mean to you and by extent what life would have been like without them. It is a special and strong bond and nobody can deny that.

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I have a sister and a brother (I am the eldest), we spent all of our childhood together but our adults’ life separated us geographically. My sister lives in France, my brother is an air pilot in Canada (yes girls don’t get too excited ūüėČ ) and I live in Australia. As you can imagine, it is not so easy to see each other and to give you an example I have not seen my brother since 2013! ūüė¶ I know it sucks… I miss my sister (and her kids a LOT) and my brother too of course. I am hopeful that in the future, as our respective lives settle down we will live closer from each other.

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When I see them¬†(especially after a long time apart), it is AMAZING! ¬†I¬†‚̧ family reunions and to catch up with everything I missed since last time. Luckily, I come from a big family and I have also many cousins ¬†around my age or my brother’s age. It is hard to feel lonely or depressed when you are around your family! Each year, during summer time, a¬†“cousinade” is organised (we made up this word in French) but basically it is a “cousins party” where all cousins (on my mother side) are invited for a barbecue and drinks at my aunts place and it is really¬†fun! Christmas are also pretty fantastics¬†and are celebrated several times in the same week since the family is huge! Each year my family (on my father side) organise an unusual christmas dinner to spice up the routine and so far we had a Mexican, a Texas, a Caribbean and I believe last year it was an Australian theme christmas : AWESOME and so refreshing!!!

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“Family is not an important thing. It is EVERYTHING!” – Michael J. Fox

I really can’t wait to come to France and pay a visit to my loved ones ‚̧ and I wish all the best to Smantha and Ana√Įs!

Bikeway To Hell

Sometimes I have crazy ideas and luckily for me I have always awesome¬†friends to follow me in my euphoric projects. So it is no surprise that when I decided to go to Henley Beach by bike to celebrate my birthday, my friend Nasim (from Iran) was part of it! For those who have been following me and paying attention, last year, for my birthday I got a beautiful green bike that became my fav.¬†transportation mode to go to work, school, activities, market etc… So it makes sense that this year I wanted to take it to the next level and go on a bike trip from Adelaide¬†CBD to ¬†the beautiful Henley beach.

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Adelaide’s parks are full of surprises. Look at this party setting with permanent balloons floating all around! Happy birthday to me I guess!

The river Torrens Linear trail is known to be pretty easy, flat and scenic. Imagine yourself biking along the river, in the parks, with the beautiful and majestic trees swaying in the breeze, the enchanting colourful birds singing along the way (have you ever heard a Cockatoo?! not very melodious lol) and the nature surrounding you like a comforting cup of tea on a Sunday morning. I really believe, this is worth giving it a try and we are so lucky to have many bike trails here in Adelaide. It is a good way to discover a city and its surroundings. Besides it is very easy to rent a City Bike in Adelaide for free, so no excuse!

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Nasim, in a very sporty attitude, ready to hit the road, no stop signs, no limit, nobody to slow her down on her bikeway to hell ūüėČ

Nasim and I met first at San Churro for breakfast. I guess we both ¬†needed a good dose of sugar to boost our bodies before hitting the road. At the beginning, everything was really nice and we really enjoyed it. Nasim was even considering buying a new bike to do that more often. I mean it is an healthy and fun way to exercice. We stopped many times to take funny pictures, to gaze at the landscapes, to relax… But what I did not consider is that even if this trail is said to be easy, it is quite long and you need at least a bit of practice. So basically I think it took us about 3 hours (maybe more) from the CBD to reach Henley Beach. When we arrived there, I think Nasim was about to collapse.

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I think at this stage, Nasim had enough… this pic was taken sometimes between her collapsing and then having lunch.

We rested a bit, walked on the beach (well deserved), took some more pictures and ended up in a restaurant with a view on the seaside. It was good to relax and chat about this little adventure. Despite the fact that we were both exhausted, there is no doubt that this bike trail is wonderful and the feeling you have when you arrive closed to the beach: awesome! All these little houses facing the beach, the white sand, the blue sky, this is the dream picture ‚̧

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Adelaide and its surroundings are so beautiful. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here!

As we started to make our way back, it appeared that Nasim had no more juice. Her body hurt, she was not feeling well and soon riding her bike became a nightmare. We tried many things, we switched¬†our bikes, I encouraged her… but when the body shuts down, there is nothing that can be really done. And sadly for Nasim, this was over. I was getting a bit worried because it was in the late afternoon and the sun was slowly vanishing on the horizon and I started to worry picturing us, walking in ¬†the dark woods next to our bikes, the gloomy shadows of the trees, the scary sounds ¬†of the nocturnal birds and the silence of the night surrounding us¬†like a dark trap. BOO!

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The power of the mind is funny sometimes, what was magic a few hours before became suddenly scary. I started to feel bad because this was my whole idea, what on earth was wrong with me, we are talking about maybe 23 km and it is not like that we are used to ride our bikes that much. Nasim suddenly quit cold turkey and called her husband to pick her up in the middle of nowhere. There was not enough room in the car for 2 bikes and I felt I had enough energy to go on and reach my home before the night comes. So it was me all alone against the clock haha!

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Last smile before scratching my belly on the tree (natural scrubbing… yes you bet!)

As I was riding back to the CBD, I could not help feeling grateful to Nasim for joining me in this crazy but funny bike trip. I felt really happy about the whole day. All in all it was one of the best birthday activities I have ever had ūüôā I liked it despite of its unexpected events: ¬†Nasim thought at some point she had broken her bike, a lady advised us to be careful with the Magpie attacks, a guy asked me for the time and I thought he wanted to steal my bag, I scratched my belly climbing in a tree for a scenic picture… and all those km that obviously we were not trained enough for.

It is all those little moments that make also good memories and you know what now looking back at it, Nasim and I really enjoyed this beautiful day together because we laughed, we had fun and we experienced with delight¬†our¬†very own bikeway to hell. Life does not have to be perfect to be fun,¬†it is its imperfections that make us smile and stick to our minds forever… Life goes beyond the beautiful pictures and selfies that we post daily on social medias… it is living the present moment, experiencing feelings, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the laugh and the tears. It may not be always perfect but it is the REAL deal and it is up to you to make it count! I am sure if we had to do it all again, Nasim would jump on her bike in a matter of second to join me ūüėČ

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect” ‚̧

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