photography

Every Fear Contains A Wish

Follow your fear. Do the work. This is where you will find big magic. -Cheryl Strayed
image-1-1image-14Made breakfast for mom and I (daddy is still in bed from working late and always sacrificing for us). It’s simple, entirely plant-based and yum. Why don’t you try it as well? Simply blend: 1 banana, 1 small mango (pitted), 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, and a large handful of spinach leaves then top with fresh fruit and all-natural granola.image-15
Vegan pasta made from authentic ingredients from the Mediterranean Food Company.
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That night CHCH had the most incredible sunset!
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Self love is teddy bear toast.
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Mama’s delicious Persian food: a chicken dish and rice flipped from a rice cooker. Also, leftovers of my pasta. And, the torso of mom’s cooking’s no1 fan: my brother-in-law, Andy.
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Bought myself a new top to interview in. I especially like the flower pattern.

Let’s Love Loud

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Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
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Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
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Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
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Guys, this is Queenstown in NZ and it is one of my absolute favourites. True, it’s super touristy today but it’s so so lovely always. Thank you Delaram and Andy for organising this trip. image-1
My 2017 resolution (gosh can’t even write “2017” without thinking “wtf”) is to read a book a week. Apparently that’s 52 books in total. Today i finished A Crack In Forever by Jeannie Brewer, a love story: honestly sad, truly sweet, overly sexy and incredibly hard to forget.image-5
What A Crack In Forever taught me during its last tear-gushing chapters is to seriously appreciate each and every moment for a loved one can be taken away at any moment.

My Wish For You Is That You Continue

…continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. -Maya Angelou
image-1-png-4Real-life fruit ninja.
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It’s getting hot in here!image-png-31
This is my gorgeous sis. She’s always “liking” and sharing my stuff (hint hint). image-png-30image-png-29
So what do y’all think of NZ, then?
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Back to my favorite ice-cream joint of all time (now serving various dairy-free options)! All hand-made and all with ample love. Now, I know this because I know the family behind the ice-cream. And believe me when I say they’re just as delicate and just as sweet.
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There are so many new Christchurch cafes! I just can’t keep up but I am trying. This is Park Ranger on Riccarton road. When I drive past, it always seems busy. I wonder if it’s just a phase? Like as was Yoghurt Story? Anyways, mama and I truly did LOVE their coffee (and almond milk availability) but the biscotti..oh the biscotti it almost broke my teeth. Yeah, yeah, biscotti is always hard, you tell me. But this guys was extreme. image-1-png-5
Last but not least, vegan Thai green curry. Nothing like cooking for a loved one. Love you mommy xx

Good Art Is Not What It Looks Like, But What It Does To Us.

Apologies for the spamming of posts – especially to my new daily growing followers (big thank you!!) but I needed to free up the storage on my phone.
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Hey Rick, if candy-filled streets aren’t enough to lure you to my homeland, I don’t know what are!
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I’ve always said we are so lucky to have Hagley <3
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This one’s for you Randy!image-png-32
Ducks chilaxing cos ’tis the season. image-1-png-20image-png-33
Bircher bowls from Posh Porridge for breakfast with my darling sister. image-1-png-21
Takeaway healthy salads from BearLion Foods for lunch at home with my annoying parents <3

Stay Close To Anything That Makes You Glad You’re Alive

He makes me so happy. I don’t want to leave.
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This is Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Centre. It’s a multimillion dollar establishment in the form of a giant glasshouse featuring canalboats, waterfalls and other extravagant things. It is also very easy to get lost in. So romantic, I actually cried here. Really. But for other non-romantic, overemotional reasons. image-png-5
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See! It’s a canalboat!
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Soooo romantic.
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Guys, this is what compromise looks like. Haha I’m joking. This is what inequality looks like :P He wanted to cook me eggs, I did not want to eat eggs, (I wanted muesli). Come on, he should know that! I love muesli! image-1-png-4
Probably the best avo toast of my life! From Proper Bagel. Also got a chance to meet Chris, a friend I met on Instagram who has also done JET (we found each other through jetprogram hashtags). image-png-6
His chicken waldorf salad bagel. Looks good right!
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I have a thing or two to learn from him. THIS is what compromise might look like. He craved ice-cream, I didn’t want to get fat(ter) so we agreed on this instead. Acai bowl from Franklin Juice Company.
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Doing all the American things, I went to a hockey game. It was cold and it was awesome! I loved it so much. I loved it because I was entertained the whole night. Every few minutes there was a song, or a movie-clip or a random sound affect played. Sooo cool! I haven’t ever experienced sport like this.
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Last but not least, as my dear follower’s recommendation, the Batman building in downtown Nashville!

Love. What Is More Important?

Hi friends! I’m requesting prayers and positive energy for my family and friends back home (NZ) please. In saying that, I myself am not frightened of returning. Because tragedies can happen anywhere. If it’s not earthquakes, it’s storms, or fires or bombings or shootings. Life is to be lived not feared.
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A beautiful day at Radnor Lake.image-6-png-4image-5-png-3image-1-png-3
Beaver attacks! :O
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Vegetarian burger: quinoa and black bean pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado and jalapeños from Burger Up.image-2-png-8How we do “His and Hers” (hehe) AKA meat vs veg.

A Dream Come True

In Antibes, I am staying in the most charming apartment in the old town and I wish, I really really wish that it was mine. I seem to like almost every place I go, but here is very nice (excuse the pun). Right now, I am sitting at the table with the yellow table cloth with the remnants of my lunch: rye bread, fresh mozzarella, vegetables and nuts. I am writing to you and in between, listening to the occasional passersby. Sometimes they’re French, sometimes Italian and occasionally, American and loud (hehe). But always always, the chatter is alive. Welcome to the South.

I am so thankful. So so thankful. I left my comfort zone (living with my parents in NZ) to teach in Japan, a country so foreign to me in every way. I was placed in the country side were I felt much racism, heartache and isolation. But I persevered through! I didn’t give up. I did a year and a half! I did it for my students and I did it for myself. And now, I am in the south of France! Antibes. A dream come true. Many people are fortunate enough to travel but not many people truly appreciate that fortune. In short, the difficulties of my past are sweetening this time.Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
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Can you imagine? Can you imagine if that were my balcony? I would sit there with my typewriter (ok macbook) and my oats. I would write the stories of the people, I would write of lust, love, heartache, betrayal and fresh fruit.
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Nobody was in Antibes that summer …except me, Zelda, the Valentinos, the Murphys, Mistinguet, Rex Ingram, Dos Passos, Alice Terry, the MacLeishes, Charlie Brackett, Mause Kahn, Lester Murphy, Marguerite Namara, E.Oppenheimer, Mannes the violinist, Floyd Dell, Max and Crystal Eastman … Just the right place to rough it, an escape from the world. (F. Scott Fitzgerald in a letter in 1926.) Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

This Is My Station

Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’ (Lisa St. Aubin de Teran)

The last of my Belgium photographs…
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One of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen ever. This is Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium.
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Originally used for flour, Laura says.
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What a coincidence!
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The original Godiva store!
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Jet lagged.image-156
Oh mama!image-157
Haagen-Dazs ice-cream was everywhere in Japan! I bet my Japanese friends and students would love this cafe.

A Day In Geneva

Thank you Laura for letting me use your computer!

I’m so mad at myself for not having come to Geneva earlier. It is only 40 minutes from my auntie’s place and so so spectacular! Wow. You should have seen me. For the entire day I looked like a smiling idiot. Which is why I’ve decided that I’m definitely a city girl. And you know what, I’ve also decided that there’s nothing wrong with that. So, I can appreciate nature. I DO appreciate nature. I love a little peace and quiet. Fresh air. But, I also LOVE culture. Art galleries, boutique stores, cafes, bakeries, flower-shops, book-shops, parks, park benches, park pigeons, I’m lovin’ it. All of it. When I walk through a city like Geneva, I hear poetry in my ears.

I had an entire day in Geneva before my flight to Belgium so here’s what I did:
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A look at Jet d’Eau (water jet), one of Geneva’s biggest landmarks.
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City strolls.
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BEEP BEEP then went off my foodie sensor! I still don’t know exactly what it was but I can definitely say there was meringue, mousse and chocolate. Bye bye diet.
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For lunch, I had a soy latte (cos I’m hipster like that) and a vegetarian “Paradiso” salad which I’d seen posted several times on Instagram from Paradiso cafe. And though it was yum, I wished I’d gotten their famous avocado toast instead. First world problems. Wish there were money (and calorie) refunds for bad food decisions.
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For dinner, I went to Golestan. A legit Persian restaurant in Geneva’s red light district! I had a Persian favorite: Ghormesabzi with mint and cucumber yoghurt. It was so good, it made me miss my mother. I wish my stomach was larger because I wanted to eat kebab as well. Then, before you think I’m even more of a glutton than I actually am, I walked for 1 hour and 45 minutes to the airport to catch my flight to BELGIUM!
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Such a cool exhibition showing beautiful faces alongside the equally beautiful lake.image-6
Maybe Japanese?
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Lifa, that you?image-2
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United Nations.
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Dessert. Shoosh. I earned it/I’m on holiday… (always).

Lakeside Strolls and Gothic Grandeur

How great is Europe? How cool is this? To travel from one country to another in less than an hour, from France to Switzerland, Lausanne desu. PS “desu” is a Japanese word often used at the end of factual sentences and for me, the most memberable part of the public transport announcements. Osaka desu. Tokyo desu. Lausanne desu.
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As for Switzerland, it is clean, luxurious and crazy expensive.
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First on our Lonely Planet list was to visit the Olympic Mueseum. Unfortunately, the entry fee turned out to be a lottle expensive. 18 Swiss Franc, that’s about 25 New Zealand dollars for only three floors – and I’m not even interested in Olympics! So, I took a few pics of the building itself but because the sun had not come out yet, I don’t think they’re that great.Sorry. Next up, the local Wednesday (and Saturday) market:
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Teeny tiny little widdle pumpkins. image-126image-130
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My best street photography picture ever.
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Both Sonia and I agreed these were THE best vegetarian burgers we have ever had ever. From Holy Cow
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Ferry back to France. 50 mere minutes on beautiful Lake Geneva.
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Back in France, cherry sorbet.image-114
For my Bahai followers (and those interested). This is the hotel (now residential apartment) Abdu’l-Bahá stayed at during his travels of Switzerland and the very port her travelled from.
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