On Nyepi Day or Silence Day (28 March this year), all Bali goes into lethargy. Locals and tourists alike are not allowed to roam the streets, to take a car or bike, to use a stove or oven, to work and to make noise. It is a day for meditation and contemplation, but originally it was designed to trick the demons into thinking Bali was inhabited so they wouldn’t come and annoy the people on the island for the rest of the year. Cunning! Continue reading “Biking my way through Bali’s terraced rice paddies, lush jungles and waterfalls”
The big day has come when I will discover what it’s like to celebrate the Balinese New Year with a local family. Before I get to the village of Jasan where Styawan, my new Balinese friend, is waiting for me, I ask the staff at my guesthouse what I should bring as a gift. Continue reading “Celebrating Nyepi, the Balinese New Year”
Being alone in Bali for an entire week is an odd feeling, as the island is so much connected to the best family holiday I’ve ever had. But I’ve decided to make the best of this time and to go where I cannot go with the children, or at least be even more adventurous than usual. Continue reading “First days in Bali”
I have had my fair share of travels in life, visiting Asia mainly, yet I have never, in my entire life, been on a solo trip to a far-away location. Actually the first time I traveled alone as an adult for leisure was last year when I did a fasting and hiking retreat in the South of France in the Spring.
So it is with a certain excitement and anxiety that I look forward to a full week of me-time in Bali – starting today. Traveling alone gives you the possibility to indulge in the craziest of lifestyles for a busy working mum of two: living for today, not knowing what you will do next, where you will go, what you will eat and who you will meet. Some also call this freedom 🙂 Continue reading “Routine or freedom: which one is more liberating?”
A l’occasion du long weekend de la Pentecôte je suis descendue en famille découvrir un petit coin de paradis sur Terre, les Alpilles en Provence. J’étais déjà passé par là rapidement, à l’Isle sur la Sorgue l’été dernier, et j’avais été enchantée – et pas seulement parce que c’est la ville de naissance de mon poète préféré, René Char !
Cette fois, nous avons choisi de rester dans la nature, dans un joli mas traditionnel aux pieds des Alpilles. La vue du Mas des Cordeliers est époustouflante, et dès que l’on a dépassé le champ d’oliviers qui longe la maison, on est à flanc de montagne. Continue reading “A la découverte des Alpilles en Provence”
Several people in the past year have shared with me their positive experience of fasting, and after giving it some thought, I decided I would try it out too. The mere thought of not eating for a whole week is pretty traumatizing to many people – including me, but everyone I talked to seemed thoroughly happy and enthusiastic about it, so it couldn’t be that bad. Continue reading “My first experience of fasting and hiking in Provence, France”
De mon voyage au Japon début avril, je n’ai qu’un seul regret : n’avoir pas essayé un bar à chat.
C’est donc avec un enthousiasme non feint que j’ai accepté d’accompagner ma fille pour visiter le premier bar à chat de Bruxelles, le Chat Touille, à Ixelles cette semaine. Continue reading “Le Chat Touille : premier bar à chat de Bruxelles”
Imaginez une équation à trois inconnues :
- un pays lointain,
- des conditions de vie tropicales,
- des enfants qui s’adaptent plus ou moins bien à cette situation.
Voilà un cocktail qui peut se révéler explosif et qui peut au minimum gâcher vos vacances et au maximum vous gâchez la vie ou celle de vos enfants. Continue reading “La checklist incontournable de vos voyages dans les tropiques avec des enfants”
Nothing quite beats starting the day with a walk in Belgium’s very own fairytale wood, the Hallerbos, about 30min away from my place. Today was sunny and brisk, the perfect weather to capture the magical mystery of this place. Continue reading “A morning walk in the Hallerbos bluebell magic”
Let’s look at some ideas about Japanese people which I had personally or which I heard from other Europeans. Many of them are actually not true, while a few have been confirmed by our trip.
Note that this is based on 15 days of traveling across Japan and is by no means a representative and comprehensive picture of Japanese people, their culture and habits. It is only a result of observing how some of them live, how they interact amongst each other and how they react to us as gaijin (foreigners) during our stay in Japan. Continue reading “10 facts about Japan and Japanese people: true or false?”