First of all, I just want to thank everybody who has supported me since I launched Peace.Love.Veggies 4 months ago! Yesterday, I took a moment to actually check my overall stats since March and it’s nice to see how many people have taken an interest and the good friends I’ve made (special mention Mabel & Marta) since the blog began! I want to thank all my friends and family who read my blogs every week and send me messages or texts with so much encouragement!
Last year, before Francis and I left for the U.S, we wanted to start a vegan travel blog but ended up documenting all our yummy finds on Instagram. After my post ‘Forest Haven’ and the suggestions of a few friends and followers, I’ve decided to expand. I’ve written extensively on Peace and Love but now I want to focus on the Veggies! The vegan online community have given us so much whenever we’ve travelled and I want to give the same back. I will post reviews and vegan guides to the places we visit and even convert the guides to PDF documents so they can be downloaded.
I want to make a special mention to Cici Tran who made her own intricate vegan guide to Vietnam which I’ve already printed off for our travel pack. It includes all the best hot spots and even how to say ‘I’m a Vegan’ in Vietnamese as well as listing the translations for things we can and cannot eat.
I’ve had a few people ask me if I plan my posts ahead of time or how I choose what to write about each week. I have a mental list of topics I want to explore but usually I just focus on what I’ve seen, heard, felt or been inspired by that week.
This week, I’ve been inspired by my sister buying a one way ticket and leaving Melbourne for an indefinite period of time. So far, I’ve gotten to see her beautiful photos in Kuala Lumpur & various regions of Turkey as well as receiving regular email updates from her.
I think it’s fair to state that my sister and I lucked out in the father department…
One thing he did give us however, was a love and passion for travel. At a very young age, my sister and I saw the world and caught the bug…so for this…we thank him! I know we will continue to travel all our lives and instil the need for adventure in our children.
Me on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
When I was much younger, I was affected by a debilitating anxiety that made it difficult for me to leave the house, let alone the country and this depressed me greatly. When I began to feel better, I was at University and barely had enough money to buy groceries so once again my budget restricted my freedom. In my second year, I was going through a very difficult period in my life and decided to use my savings to take a 2 week solo trip to China backpacking through the Yunan Province. I stayed in hostels, slept on overnight trains and spent a lot of time with a local who I met and am still in contact with today. It was a beautiful and healing experience that I sorely needed at the time.
Three years ago, I was offered a job at Melbourne Business School where I still work today and was finally free of the anxious & monetary limitations that had held me back before. Like the true introvert I am, on my first summer break I booked a hotel near the beach a few hours away and worked on my now published novel.
When I met Francis in 2013, I was thrilled to discover he loved to travel as much as I did. He had already seen much of the world too and taught me an invaluable lesson: ‘buy experiences, not stuff.’ I remember walking into his place for the first time and gawking at how bare and minimalistic it was. He told me that he preferred to save his money for experiences and not just fill the house with useless things. At that time, I was doing an extensive amount of online shopping and his outlook on life changed mine completely. We started a joint account and began saving for experiences rather than materialistic items. Sidenote: That isn’t to say you shouldn’t treat yourself! On the contrary, I still love to indulge in books and yoga gear but I realised just how fulfilling and rewarding ‘doing’ and ‘exploring’ were over objects that only provide instant gratification.
Every year, we like to go away for my birthday, do a big vacation in the middle of the year and then go somewhere for his birthday/New Year’s. Travel was and still is where we focus our attention. Recently, we have also started saving for a house but a couple of weeks ago my Auntie and Uncle gave us some solid advice about having the best of both worlds as they did. They told us no matter how much they saved, they saw the world together whenever they could and we are so lucky to have the same opportunities. In a month, we leave for Vietnam & Cambodia and are planning a big Europe trip hopefully not too long after that. He is a talented photographer and I enjoy writing captions/posts to match his shots. I keep a list online of all the places we have visited (including trips around regional Victoria) and continue to add to it. There is something so freeing about making up for lost time when I was too terrified to leave my room…
When I see my sister and I discovering the globe, I feel happy because it assures me that at least one positive thing came out of having the father we did. It proves that good things do come from the bad. We have had adventure in our hearts at such a young age and it’s a beautiful thing to share.
Buddhist Philosophy teaches the importance of renouncing our possessions as we become attached to material objects that leave us ultimately feeling empty. To simplify…buy experiences, not stuff!
Francis is still trying to convince me to move out of Melbourne and settle somewhere else. Maybe we will one day…the future is open and exciting!
I know that money and certain other factors can limit or restrict one’s ability to travel at the drop of a hat but once you make the decision, it will manifest into a reality and your life will never be the same….
Peace and Love xoxox
That is so exciting to hear that your blog is moving in new directions! I have really enjoyed reading it this year when I discovered it, and love your positive take on life. So, I’m looking forward to more of what you write about 🙂
What a great way to live by: “Buy experiences, not stuff.” Haha, I think if you come over to my house, I think you’d also see what little things I have… In my room, I have my desk, bed, guitar on the floor and one shelf of a few things that have been with me since childhood. Rarely do I buy knick-knacks when I go someplace – even when I travel I don’t like to buy souveniers…and usually the locals are nice enough to give a few parting gifts. Given the fact that I have never held down a permanent job, that has made me more aware of my finances and appreciate what I have.
Lots of love and talk to you very soon 😀 <3
Thank you lovely Mabel! Your words of encouragement helped! I love reading your blog too 🙂 it’s truly inspiring and full of heart! Hopefully I can come visit one day and see your other sock monkey haha <3 it's so cool that you have a guitar…have you written a post about that? I would love to hear more about your musical talent! I have become a lot more of a minimalist since moving out but I still love the bout of online shopping now and then 🙂 🙂 that's nice of the locals to give you parting gifts! That means so much more than buying a souvenir in a shop! It sounds like you are very good at saving too 🙂 remember life is all about balance so work hard and play hard 🙂 Lots of love <3 see you soon I hope! xx