#12DaysofHygge – Day 12: Tourist in my town + Giveaway from LUQL!

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Dating an ex-pat, I am very accustomed and happy to be a #touristinmytown. It’s fun to see familiar things in a new light, and I always enjoy going somewhere I’ve never been or trying out a new activity. When the people at a new travel app called LUQL (http://luql.io) reached out to me last month about taking a tour in Vancouver, I was intrigued. As you may have read, I love a good tour when travelling, but I’ve never taken a tour in my own city. I suppose most people haven’t(?)

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#12DaysofHygge Day 9 – My Favourite Craft Beer Tasting Rooms in Metro Vancouver

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Steel & Oak tasting room in New Westminster

Vancouver is a hub for many industries, including tech, film, and mining. But a more relatable ‘industry’ is the craft beer scene – no, craft beer isn’t just a ‘hipster’ thing. (Are hipsters even a thing anymore? I’m not a ‘hipster’, and Brit most certainly isn’t one.) In a city and province where ‘big beer’ has strong roots, craft beer has taken over with creative spins on classics, focus on flavour, and top-notch tasting rooms.

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#12DaysofHygge – Day 8: Candles & Cocktails + City Girl Connects with French Seventy Six

Candles are… Practical. Sensory. Fanciful. Romantic. Celebratory. Cozy. The perfect lighting for a photograph. A major player in making a space feel hygge.

As Buddha once said:

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

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#12 Days of Hygge – Day 7: Date Night In

The Brit recently sent me a link to a Time Magazine clip that was on their Facebook page about hygge. It sums up hygge really nicely as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” A great example of this is when I go to cook and eat with my friend Karen. It’s also how I feel when the Brit and are at home or off on an adventure.

When we went to the Sunshine Coast in October, we stayed in Gibsons for a night on our way back home from Powell River. We had a cute Airbnb booked and had plans go into ‘downtown’ Gibsons for a date night of dinner and a #pintandaflight at one of the craft breweries the town is known for.

But then we got to our Airbnb and the view was PHENOMENAL. Our Airbnb host must have thought we were simpletons with how dumbstruck we were by the property, the hot tub, and the kick-ass view. I remember looking at the Brit and saying “Let’s just order takeout and stay here.” and he said “I was just going to say the same thing!”

We had just come from Powell River and visiting Townsite Brewing, so we were all set for refreshments. So we had a date night ‘in’ instead of a date night ‘out’ and it was wonderful. We ordered a pizza and sat on the swinging chair, watching a sunny evening turn into a stunning sunset over the water. (Who doesn’t love a fiery coloured sunset??) You couldn’t not take take a hundred pictures, so we did and then we settled with our Townsite brews.

I’m so glad we took the opportunity to appreciate our surroundings and just be together and present. It was a very hygge evening and the perfect date night.

Thank you to our hosts for having such a lovely place for us to have stayed! It was beautiful.

What’s your favourite date night in? Have your plans ever changed and become the best evening, ever?

“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.”

~ Pamela Hansford Johnson

#12DaysofHygge Day 3: Unplugging + Staying Present

Despite being fully charged when I left the house yesterday, my phone battery depleted quite quickly. Right in the middle of a murals tour we were taking. And I didn’t have a charger of any sort on me. Boo-hoo, I know. But I’d had some timed posts planned for the blog and on Instagram. And I wanted to take pictures. Total first world problems.

But the universe was telling me something: put the phone away. The Brit’s phone battery was fine. So he took photos for me. And I actually enjoyed having an ‘unplugged’ rest of the day. It allowed me to fully focus on our guide and what she was saying, enjoying the day with him, and having a great time at VanDusen Gardens with some friends later in the evening. It was a fantastic day.

When I was reading The Little Book of Hygge, one of the things listed as a key of this Danish way of life was unplugging and being present. I am an excellent multi-tasker; it’s why I’m good at my day job as an executive assistant. But sometimes, the phone needs to get put away and it takes the battery going down to 4% – where it stayed at for 5(!) hours until I got home – for that to happen. (Ridiculous, I know.)

This really hit home for me today, not just because of my phone battery, but because of one of the murals we saw just off of Main Street:

How powerful is that?? My phone was already put away at this point (so a big thank you to my love for taking these photos!), but the message resonated. How could it not?

(I’ll be posting soon about this mural and the tour we took – stay tuned!)

As a yoga teacher, I guide my students into the present for focus on the mat so they can carry that with them into the rest of their day. As a yoga student, I work very hard to also do this for myself during my practice. But I sometimes forget that this needs to apply to my life off the mat. Particularly during such a busy time of year!

Do you take time to unplug? How do you stay present and calm during the holiday season?  Share in the comments below!

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

~ Amit Ray