culture

7 Reasons Why You Should Try Hitchhiking

1. Saving Money On Transportation

This was the reason why I first started hitchhiking, traveling on a shoestring and using public transportation don’t go well together. If I can get a flight from Portugal to Germany for 20€ I’m not paying more than that for a boring 200km, three hour bus ride to the next destination.

2. Saving More Money!

This might sound crazy to people who are concerned about the “dangers” of hitchhiking, but during some rides I have been offered food, money, drinks, accommodation and even marijuana and alcohol, usually they are just really into helping me and making sure I enjoy my adventure, some people have also driven off their paths just to drop me off exactly where I wanted them to.

Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful
Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

Of course this situations don’t come very often, specially if you are hitchhiking with someone else. Although it feels amazing to be treated in such a nice way by a stranger you should be very grateful just by the fact that they decide to pick you up, so don’t expect anything else from the people who give you a ride.

3. Overcoming Your Fears.

When it comes to hitchhiking anyone who has never done it before tends to have enough misconceptions about it to keep themselves away from doing it unless encouraged by someone else.

The exact same thing happened to me, that’s why I want you to go out there and do it, after a few rides your opinions about hitchhiking will change drastically and once you overcome that fear you will feel more confident and even more determined to overcome other mental barriers that you may have.

Emotions are Contagious

4. Meeting Really Nice People

This is why I love hitchhiking! You will meet lots of different people and have many conversations with complete strangers. You can share your stories and at the same time discover more about the local culture or about someone else’s life, isn’t that great?

Of course not everyone is interested in hearing what you have to say or share with you their lives but countless times I’ve had really indulging conversations and learned much from this people and it also helped me overcome social insecurities.

5. Practising Your New Language

Please! Make sure you learn or at least write down some keywords or phrases from the local language. It’s easy to learn a new language and you can even practise for free with people who give you a ride by trying to introduce yourself, explaining where you want to go and even talk a bit about yourself in the local language.

If you and the person who give you a ride have any language in common it’s always funny to have a quick conversation in the local language, if that’s not the case be creative, talk with gestures or pictures, point at things, make an effort to break the language barrier.

You Are Your Own SuperHero

6. Save The World!

Every time someone picks you up the same amount of CO2 is emitted but more people are getting from point A to point B, this is what I call economizing. Can you imagine if more and more people start hitchhiking? Not only to travel on a budget but to actually do it on a daily basis. There would be less and less pollution, traffic jams and people would trust more on each other.

7. Experience True Freedom And Adventure

Hitchhiking is more than just sticking your thumb up and waiting. It’s the freedom of choosing where and when you want to go and never knowing where and when someone will take you there! It’s embracing the unknown! There are absolutely no certainties when it comes to hitchhiking, you never know what type of person or car will pick you up, how long you will have to wait or where they are going. This is what I call adventure!

When you don’t know what to expect you are living life in the present and experiencing everything in detail, you appreciate more the good things and easily ignore whatever doesn’t suit you.

the mount Rinjani
Learn about my hike in Indonesia last year on OrganicIsBeautiful

I have countless good memories from hitchhiking: getting invited for lunch in a hill by the beach, having really funny or interesting conversations, getting rides on cabs for free, pretending to be moroccan on a police checkpoint and many more that are yet to come.

Thank you Lucas for this amazing post, you can find the original article in their website.

What about you? What are your thoughts on hitchhiking? Please Share with me your adventures!

OrganicIsBeautiful Signature

Be Somebody Who Makes Everybody Feel Like Somebody

I’m sure that we all have a perspective of ourselves and we all have things we like and dislike about ourselves; looks; attitudes, weaknesses or constant failures. Every one of us places a level of importance on ourselves and we all know that, but what we don’t really pay attention to the reason that we place that level of importance on ourselves.

People are easily scared of being taken for granted! Maybe because of the way they grew up or how the world has become; it doesn’t really matter, what matters is the we do our best to make them see that they are important, in fact, vital to this world.

I have felt like a nobody before, I know what it feels like to be below average in school, I have felt little because I was underemployed, I know how desperate I was to be seen as somebody that matters, I remember how I was looking for the slightest opportunity to prove to myself and any other person that I matter. I have moved from that place now, I do not only feel like somebody, my goal is to become that guy who makes everybody feels special and respected.

I do this every day by praising the little things people do, by genuinely seeking something in everyone that can make them proud and making sure that I announce it constantly.

Categorie: Inspiration, Quote | www.OrganicIsBeautiful.com
Categorie: Inspiration, Quote | www.OrganicIsBeautiful.com

Sometimes the world is such a depressing place and I find myself trying to convince myself that I am important; where am I going to find the energy to help someone feel like somebody? The answer is simple, anytime I succeed in making someone feel special, I feel special too! I feel useful and important and I know that is not just a feeling, it is the truth, I am making the world a better place. I use the following mindset to keep a smile on people’s faces:

  • I put myself in their shoes: Anytime I truly take out time to look at things from the other person’s perspective, I get the opportunity to imagine how that person feels and that allows me to understand to a certain degree, what that person is feeling and to be of help.
  • I keep doing it: I try treating people the way that I would want to be treated: when I interact with people, I try as much as possible to treat them as I would like to see them treat others, that gives me the privilege to pass something to someone that will make the world a better place.
  • It is an obligation: Most people just want to get something from life, we want to take from it and are not really ready to add value to life. I want to change that narrative, so I feel it is my obligation to make people see that they are special, unique and capable.
  • I see people as important: Anybody that develops the ability to see people as important will be able to go out of his way to make sure that they are treated as precious things should be treated – with care. And over time you will find out how much people will love hanging around you. Over time people will also begin to treat you with that level of respect and love.

This is also what I have observed, anywhere I practice this, what I give out gets multiplied and given back to me and to many others, but that doesn’t mean that I should always expect anyone to treat me the way I treat them, because they just might not.

Thank you for stopping by,

Amanda.  Like
OrganicIsBeautiful Signature

Saturday Relaxation with Dead Sea Salt and Ginger

This year I made myself a promise that I was going to take time for myself. Whether it is five minute or maybe an hour to do something that relaxes me or de-stresses me. Today I am sharing with you one of those things which is taking bubble baths. I also wanted to share my three essential products that make my bath time extra special.

A bit of History

Japan flag OrganicIsBeautiful

The Onsen is the Japanese bathing ritual based on soaking in scalding bath water and sweating to achieve good health and relaxation.

Spiritual pursuits of purity, hygiene and ritual purification were an important part of Japanese culture and bathing was done communally without regard for division of the sexes.

 

 

Turkish Flag OrganicIsBeautifulWhat about Turkey? The Turkish bath is also called a Hammam.

It is an Arabic word meaning ‘spreader of warmth’ and represents in the East a very long and rich culture of bathing of the Romans, Ottomans, Persians and Arabs.

Nowadays, you can find a few hammam spa across Paris as well.

Hungary Flag OrganicIsBeautifulHungary is the country that pops into my mind when I think bathing traditions. A traditional thermal bath dating back to the 16th century.

Nowadays, it is with no surprise that Hungary is the largest medicinal bath in all Europe! A stop in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a fabulous experience and an amazing week trip away.

 

A Salt Bath

A salt bath is among the oldest baths out there, and has been used for many years to help people relax and unwind. Yes, a more leisurely soak with bathing ingredients carefully chosen will support internal cleansing, overall health and even to remedy specific ailments or injuries.

Detox Spa | OrganicIsBeautiful
Detox Spa | OrganicIsBeautiful

My Bath Essentials 

  1. Epsom Salt. High in magnesium, it has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind and soul. It is a must-have!

The Epsom Salt Industry Council lists the non-exhaustives benefitits found in the Epsom Salt:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
Salt | OrganicIsBeautiful
Salt | OrganicIsBeautiful

 2. Sea Salt. According to OrganicFact.com, the mineral content in Dead Sea salt have long been appreciated for their rejuvenating effects on the skin. Bathing in a Dead Sea salt solution helps in keeping the skin moisturized and revitalized.

Dead Sea Salt | OrganicIsBeautiful
Dead Sea Salt | OrganicIsBeautiful

3. Ground Ginger. Ginger, as we all know, has a peculiar fragrance and is a strong spice offering several beauty benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and is antiseptic in nature, which makes it extremely useful to resolve problems like signs of anti-ageing, acne, skin burns, but also… dandruff! 

Benefits of Ginger
Lets talk about the benefits of Ginger – OrganicIsBeautiful

 4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Vinegar Cider | OrganicIsBeautiful
Apple Vinegar Cider | OrganicIsBeautiful

 5. Baking Soda. Baking soda isn’t only for baking. Combined with water, it contains strong healing properties that help soothe the skin.

And, the OiB suggestion, some a few drops of lavender essential oil. (You know that I am a big fan of lavender essential oil. In my previous article, I mentioned its benefits to help falling asleep like a baby!) You can also use other essential oil made to ease the relaxation process: 

  • Lavender – Calming
  • Grapefruit – Uplifting
  • Peppermint – Fatigue
  • Cedarwood – Depression
  • Chamomile & Rosemary – Headache

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to comment below 😉

Amanda

OrganicIsBeautiful Signature

Saturday

How to Select The Chocolate that Makes You Happy!

Happy, Happy, Happy + Energy = Chocolate. A dessert. An antidepressant. A favorite indulgence. Eating cacao makes you happy! It contains phenylethylamine which is responsible for our state of mood and pleasure and the same feelings you get when you are in love. It also acts as a stimulant and can improve mental alertness.

A bit of History

Our word chocolate comes from the Spanish version of the Aztec Nahuatl word chocolatl, which in turn derives from a word xococ, meaning bitter. Literally chocolate means bitter water.

It all started in 1500 BC-500 BC in the ancient Olmec civilisation in Mesoamerican and continued on through the time of the Maya and Aztecs before making its trek across to the Old World in the 16th century.

Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful
Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful

Did you know? Chocolate was much more than just a piece of indulgence. Below are some of the traditional  usages of Chocolate in the Aztecs culture:

  1. The Aztecs associated the cacao bean with the goddess Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility.
  2. Aztecs also used them as a kind of sacred currency with which the captive peoples of their empire could pay tribute.
  3. The Aztecs believed that chocolate was a powerful aphrodisiac, able to arouse the sexual passions.

The Cacao Tree

According to HeritageDaily, the tree produces fruits approximately the size and shape of an American football! Actual cacao beans are found inside the fruit of the tree in fleshy, oval-shaped pods. The beans are harvested, fermented, and dried.

Each pod contains an average of 40 seeds (or beans), which are what is used to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter and chocolate.

Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful
Raw Chocoloate | OrganicIsBeautiful

Difference Between Cacao and Coca

  • CACAO

According to Obsev, the cacao bean is the source of both cacao and cocoa powders.
It is to the raw form of chocolate. The cacao bean is what any type of chocolate (cocoa powder) is initially made of.

Cacao contains an abundance of antioxidants, because it’s raw and pure.

It’s also a fantastic source of fiber, magnesium, essential fatty acids, iron, copper, zinc, sulfur, and calcium.

NOTE: Raw cacao is a stimulant so it is advised not to consume it after about 2-3pm as to not interfere with a good night’s sleep!

  • COCOA

In short, cocoa is what you and I eat. What comes out of the processed and roasted steps of cacao! Cocoa exists because 100% cacao has a rich, chocolate flavour but is also very bitter (The taste of cacao can actually vary depending on the variety of plant, soil, temperate, sunlight and rain that is received during the growing process).
You have to know that once roasted and processed (turning cacao to cocoa), the beans lose much of their nutritional benefits. In your grocery shop, you can find chocolate in different formats. I share som

How to use it

Cacao powder can be added to smoothies, to make chocolate desserts or to make a yummy hot chocolate.

Cacao butter can be used in conjunction with cacao powder and natural sweetener to make your own chocolate (see some recipes below). It is also great to add to bliss balls or nut bases to hold them together and can be used in the place of coconut oil. It will add a lovely velvety, chocolate flavour. Cacao butter is edible but it is also used in skin care products.

Cocoa Butter | OrganicIsBeautiful
Cocoa Butter | OrganicIsBeautiful

Cacao nibs add a lovely crunch to muffins, ice-cream or as a topping on your favourite dessert. They are also great to add to your favourite granola mix for breakfast or on top of a smoothie.
OrganicIsBeautiful Signature

Burma – The Smile of The Betel leaves.

One of my first post was about my fabulous trip in Burma in 2012. A mind-blowing trip. Today, I stumbled a travel photography blog-  Jon Sanwell’s Blog – by chance, and it took my breath away.

Why? It remained me the sweet souvenir of experiencing Burmese culture, and especially the Hospitality (with a big H). One of my best souvenir remains the continuous smile on people face, regardless of level of poverty.

You can’t talk about The Smile in Burma without mentioning the Betelnut Smile, resonating in every corner of the country.

The BetelNut Smile

Betelnut Smile. Picture -flickrhivemind.net
Betelnut Smile. Picture -flickrhivemind.net

‘No one can speak Burmese well till he chews betel’.

The words of Sir James George Scott, Scottish journalist and colonial administrator in the XIX century still resonate today: Betel nut is ubiquitous in Myanmar.

Back in 2012, during my backpacking trip in Burma, I saw countless of locals chewing routinely the Betel Nuts. Chewers queue up at small kiosks across the city selling the wraps for 100 kyats (around 10 US cents). Hawkers carry them in trays hung around their necks and sell them to passing motorists at busy junctions.

Many people chew betel incessantly, despite half-hearted government attempts to curb the practice, or at least to stop the spitting associated with chewing. A long time habit in Myanmar. 

The streets are covered with big red blotches because, when locals finish chewing their quids, they hawk red gobs and streams of juice onto the roads and walkways, permanently staining the concrete.

Jon Sanwell.com Beta chewing for OIb

The Betel Nuts.

  • Scientific names: Areca catechu L. Family: Palmaceae (palms)
  • Common names: Areca nut, paan, paan-gutkha pinlang, pinang, and supari.
  • Effect: stimulant, addictive.

The fruit of the Areca catechu palm tree, also known as the “Betel Nut”, contain the stimulant arecoline. Native to SE Asia, the nuts are ground and often combined with mineral lime and wrapped in the leaf of a Betel pepper plant.

How to recognise a heavy user? Simple. Notably, frequent use can stain teeth black and its daily use is associated with increased risk of mouth cancers. It is known that there are variants of the betel and lime combination across many Asian cultures and have a long history of human use.

Jon Sanwell Pictures OiB Beta leaves in Market

Chewing the BetelNut

Using Jon’s words, chewing betelnut (actually a combination of betel leaves and areca nut, Wikipedia tells me) is a major part of the culture in Myanmar.

Jon Sanwell.com Beta Woman selling Burma for OiB

Betel provides a mild stimulant, but also stains the chewer’s teeth red and is a major cause of cancer. This series of pictures from Mandalay shows the areca nuts being sliced and sorted; the betel leaves being arranged in baskets for sale at the market; a street stand selling parcels of nuts and leaves; and a betel smile.

Beta nuts Jon Sanwell.com For OiB

The only additional flavoring Yapese sometimes use is tobacco. Dark, sticky twist tobacco is best, but some people will also bite off the end of a cigarette after popping the betel quid into their mouths.

Picture Credit: Jon Sanwell.

leaves

Scroll to Top