SERIES 4 – wiTtY wARdrObes; TOPIC 2- Clothing Capsule: Business Travellers (Men)

The one thing that most of us don’t enjoy about travelling is deciding which clothes to carry and which outfits to put together. Each person has a different reason or purpose of travelling. Some travel for fun, some for business, some are digital nomads, some for competitions of various sorts. Capsule wardrobes are a smart and effective way to dress classy and elegant without wasting much time deciding your outfit. 

Let us begin with Business Travellers. In their world, the laptop and official files take up most of their suitcase space and then come the pile of “wearing for sure” and “maybe going to wear” clothes. The only decision they should make this work trip is for clients and bosses, not for choosing from multiple attires. This blog guides you through a capsule wardrobe for men.

Here is a list of must-have apparel for this capsule wardrobe for men business travellers. These, in turn, will help create quite a good number of ensembles for your work trip. 

  1. Upper-wear:  
  • Shirts: The most common and essential formal clothing item is a shirt. Most men get that professional look going as soon as they put on a shirt. It is a versatile article that can be paired up with literally anything, so basically, what I’m saying is, don’t forget to carry a shirt! The broader shirt categories are – oxford button-down shirt, button-up shirt, and formal dress shirt in styles of plain, small checks, and thin stripes. The primary colour palette for shirts is – white, grey, light blue, and black for plain; black & white, black & grey, blue & white, black & beige, preferably for small checks and thin stripes. 
  • T-shirts: You will need comfortable casual t-shirts for going around the hotel, as nightwear, or even for a morning workout if you overate the night before;). Along with this, you will need a few dressy t-shirts as well. You can wear them under your blazer for an official meeting or explore the city matching it with a pair of jeans, either on a friendly outing or an evening dinner with colleagues. You can carry a polo neck shirt, a collared t-shirt, a suitable henley t-shirt, a crew neck t-shirt, and a decent v-neck. Any colour works for this apparel, make sure it isn’t very flashy and doesn’t have a lot of prints. 

2. Lower-wear:

  • Slim Chinos: Go to work looking dapper without losing your comfort by putting on a pair of chinos. These fall into the category of formal as well as business casual. The best colours to carry are lighter shades like grey and beige.
  • Pleated Pants: If you aren’t too lazy to iron each pleat, go ahead and dress-to-impress your boss with formal pleated pants. The most classy and smart colours are dark grey or charcoal, black, and cream(like khaki). A meeting with a vital client-check, off-site evenings with colleagues-check again.
  • Dress pants: That one girl who won’t look at you, that one colleague who always puts you down. Show yourself off while carrying a professional look with dress pants. The darker the colour, the better-navy blue, black, steel grey, to name a few. Nothing can go wrong with these pants, and there are a plethora of options that you can match them with. One pair is a must-have in your suitcase.
  • Flat front pants: These are a mixture of dress pants design and pleated pants style, just without the pleats and more form-fitting. This lower-wear acts as a representation of confidence and assertion. The colours to carry are black, khaki, and almost any shades of grey.
  • Jeans: A pair of dark-washed jeans or any presentable pair of jeans is a must. Just for relaxing in the hotel lounge, touring around on your day off, or for a gathering with your colleagues, you need a pair packed in your suitcase. The colour entirely depends on your style or choice; make sure that it matches most of your upper-wear.

3. Accessories:

  • Blazer: Add class to your outfit with a smart blazer and get that handsome formal look going. Stick to shades of blue, black, and grey, but again not to forget, they should match most of your pants. The most appropriate work blazers that never go out of trend are single and double-breasted blazers. Do carry a notch-lapel blazer in shades of beige, or grey as they are comfortable and provide an extremely sophisticated look. Now for more important meetings or client dinners, you can also take along a shawl lapel blazer, which highlights best in black. All of these types can either be in plain or have a mild checks pattern to catch the eye.
  • Tie: In my opinion, the final image, the vibe of the whole ensemble, comes with the correct tie. Along with keeping in mind the most dashing tie, do remember that you shouldn’t carry a lot, make sure they suit almost every apparel you pack. However, a bow-tie is optional, and your ties shouldn’t be very bright or have multiple patterns. 
  • Footwear: The most stylish and smartest, giving you the best of both worlds(comfort and style) are oxford shoes or dress shoes. Impressive in colours of dark polished brown and black. Then comes loafers for any and every occasion, they fall in the category of business, casual, and business casual. My preference is the darkest shade of brown. Derbys are comfortable, smart to wear throughout the day, and for evening outings. Again darker colours suit better. Then there are brogues which are more on the casual side and look best in tan and brown. Lastly, black plain toe shoes are perfect for defining your feet. Try to carry a maximum of two pairs, depending on the number of days from either of these categories. Other than that, feel free to bring athletic shoes for working out and flip flops for lounging, if you have space.
  • Belts: Even if any apparel from your lower-wear isn’t loose, pack at least one belt. Without a belt somehow, the formal ensemble looks a bit shabby. These can be of any colour, just not very bright or with a shiny buckle as they shouldn’t the centre of attention of your outfit. Plain, medium-sized belts look slick and smart. 
  • Socks: Socks are essential to keep your feet relaxed all day, so carry proper length socks of various colours according to the rest of your suitcase’s clothing.
  • Bags: Apart from your main suitcase, you need some bags or carry-ons to keep your handy valuables, required files, your electronics, and of course, chargers. Have a backpack for essential items that you can have with you on the flight, and you may or may not use it for your official electronics as well. You can also take along an elegant briefcase or a laptop bag for documents, laptops, iPads, or tablets for carrying it with you at work if you don’t want to keep it all in your backpack. Personally, a classy briefcase completes the entire besuited vibe and gives off confidence and professionalism. Moreover, it’s up to you to carry a duffel bag for the gym incase its a long trip.  
  • Other accessories: Don’t forget a dashing watch, it’s essential for your work trip. Depending on the weather, you can pack a pair or two of sunglasses for summer, a smart muffler/ shawl for winter. If there is a particular party after the official work, you can also bring along a waistcoat.
  • Suits: In my opinion, full suits should not be a part of this travel wardrobe as the purpose of creating more outfits with fewer clothes will be defied. However, if need be, a set or two can be packed.

Here are a few outfits that I find perfect for your business travel capsule wardrobe! Do have a look!

Black dress pants, dark blue and white striped shirt, black plain toe shoes, watch, white tie, black belt with silver buckle
Blue oxford button down shirt, grey flat front pants, grey blazer, dark grey dress shoes, dark blue and black belt, blue and grey tie, watch, black laptop bag
White button up shirt, checks greyish black and white single breasted blazer, beige pleated pant, bluish grey derby shoes, rustic brown briefcase, watch
Maroon polo neck t-shirt, black jeans, sunglasses, black loafers

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

SERIES 4 – wiTtY wARdrObes; TOPIC 1- Clothing Capsule: Business Travellers (Women)

The one thing that most of us don’t enjoy about travelling is deciding which clothes to carry and which outfits to put together. Each person has a different reason or purpose of travelling. Some travel for fun, some for business, some are digital nomads, some for competitions of various sorts. Capsule wardrobes are a smart and effective way to dress classy and elegant without wasting much time deciding your outfit. 

Let us begin with Business Travellers. In their world, the laptop and official files take up most of their suitcase space and then come the pile of “wearing for sure” and “maybe going to wear” clothes. The only decision they should make this work trip is for clients and bosses, not for choosing from multiple attires. This blog guides you through a capsule wardrobe for women, and the next blog will be for men. 

Here is a list of must-have apparel for this capsule wardrobe for women business travellers. These, in turn, will help create quite a good number of ensembles for your work trip. 

  1. Upper-wear: 
  • Button-up shirts: The most common and essential item of a workplace outfit are button-up shirts. Your suitcase should include the original white shirt for sure. Other than that, you can have polka-dot filled, checks patterned, striped, beige-coloured, light blue, or even a light red-coloured shirt for formal meetings throughout your trip. Try to pack wrinkle-free shirts, i.e., made of linen, cotton, or lyocell.
  • Fancy Blouses/Tops: Almost every work trip has a relaxing, informal dinner or formal client meetings where you have to dress-to-impress. Pack a few elegant tops, particularly of colours like navy blue, baby pink, cream, grey, red and black, in that order. Faux silk, satin, and peplum blouses are preferred as they are minimalistic but dressy and befit almost every body type.
  • Plain T-shirts: At times when you get a day to relax, tour around, or have a lazy workday, then these can come very handy. You can wear them under your formal blazer or just over a pair of jeans with a cardigan, and you’re good to go. The must-have colours are white, grey or black.

2. Lower-wear:

  • Pants: The most comfortable bottoms for work, I present to you various types of formal pants. Who knew there were a plethora of options to choose from! The four kinds of pants that emit pure sophistication are straight pants, skin-tight pants, bootcut, and high-waisted pants, which are either plain, plaid, or striped. The most suitable colors are black, khaki, grey, navy blue, and white. For an off-site outing, bootcut pants are the most presentable. 
  • Skirts: Fond of fashion? Want to make a colleague jealous? Want to impress a colleague? This apparel makes you look sober, professional, yet approachable. Skirts can be experimented with as they have different cuts, designs, colours, and materials-feel free to do so. The classics, best for work skirt types, are pencil, A-Line, less-flared/Bell-shaped, and pleated, usually worn knee-length or below. The preferred colours are black, dark grey, red, navy blue, nude. 

3. Dresses:

  • Pencil Dress: The most simple yet chic dress to take on your work trip is a pencil dress. You can wear this on your most robust meetings and rock it with ease as it gives you confidence. The most elegant colours for this are lavender, beige, dark grey, and black and white. Pack the ones which have a breathable fabric so that it isn’t uncomfortable.
  • Bodycon Dress: The after-work party, heads turning in your direction as you enter the conference room. Ah, we all crave that. Bodycon dresses are perfect for that. Pair with a cute coat in winter, or a cardigan in summer, there you go. The best colours are maroon, green, coffee for evenings, peach and white for mornings. For evening parties, off-shoulder ones are preferred with a cute wallet to carry. These dresses look good with almost any accessory.
  • Sheath Dress: This is the perfect dress for women with an hourglass figure. Again these are suitable for both on-site and off-site meetings and add a confident oomph to your ensemble. The colours to carry are teal, grey, dull blue. Let it be simple yet impactful.
  • Peplum Dress: Spice up your look with some liveliness by packing up a must-have peplum dress on your work trip. This type is my personal favourite as it gives the illusion of a two-piece but is actually one. The preferred colours are neutral hues like nude, white, grey, to name a few.

4. Accessories: Last but one of the most important parts of your ensemble is accessories. The essentials for your work trip are as follows-

  • Blazer/Coats/Cardigans: Common formal blazers that you can choose from are- Single breasted, One button, Two Button, Three-button, Double-breasted, and Peplum Blazers and enhance your overall look. Coats add beauty with comfort during winter and cardigans during spring.
  • Footwear: Well, we’re not leaving for work without putting on some appealing footwear, are we? A pair of pumps (black or white) and heels(nude or black) are a must to carry. Other than that, you can also bring along either wedges, pointed toe flats, boots, or ballet flats in colours that match almost each clothing item.
  • Bags: Whether it be your laptop, your files, or your makeup essentials, a bag is indispensable for your formal attire. You can carry either a good quality tote bag, a shoulder bag, a laptop bag, or a structured purse that fits all the necessary items. Make sure to carry an evening-coloured clutch for your after-work gatherings. There are no specific colours for bags; however, make sure they complement your entire outfit.
  • Jewellery: Watches are a must, carry one or two watches for your professional look. Simple neckpieces, not very flashy, along with some studs to complete your travel kit. However, do not carry one jewellery for each day; you can repeat some items. 
  • If you want, there are other cute accessories to prep up your array. These include sunglasses, fake glasses, scarves, and stockings.

Here are a few outfits that I find perfect for your business travel capsule wardrobe! Do have a look!

White button-up shirt, navy blue boot-cut pants, diamond stud earrings, silver belted watch, black tote bag, beige-ish heels, black rimmed fake glasses
White peplum dress, beige overcoat, nude heels, sunglasses, black and gold watch, shaded brown shoulder bag for work, black marc jacobs shoulder bag for after work gathering, simple layered golden necklace, golden studs
Grey collarless open blazer, grey pencil skirt, peach-ish cream with ribbon satin blouse, peach structured purse, black boots, dull golden bracelet, matt golden studs

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 5 – Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

 Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months. Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Welcome to Lake Louise.

The Emerald Lake, now popularly known as Lake Louise, renamed to honour Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, is the most picturesque Lake in the Canadian Rockies. With its beautiful turquoise waters, this world-famous Lake is 230 feet deep and extremely cold throughout the year. Only a few species of fish can survive due to the freezing temperatures underwater, and those that survive can only do so for a few years. The surrounding thick pine forests, high, snowy mountains, a clear sky, perfectly blend into its scenic essence. 

Many of us might have seen this painstakingly stunning destination on postcards or calendars. The most relaxed and most enjoyable route to get to Lake Louise, Alberta, is via the longest road, i.e., the 8000km long trans-Canada highway. It is incredibly close to the Lake, and you may even get to see a grizzly bear on your way! Complementing the already charismatic Lake and providing a quintessential backdrop is the majestic Victoria Glacier. This one of the most photographed glaciers is responsible for the creation of Lake Louise, a task that started around 10,000 years ago and continues.

The best hotel here(according to me) is, “Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise”, which provides excellent views along with luxurious comfort. Breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier from your room are there for you to admire all day. This natural wonder needs a lot of cherishing and praising, best served by the tourists staying at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. However, “Deer Lodge”, closest to the Lake, is another beautiful resort here. It is a quiet retreat that takes you back to historical eras with its rustic beauty and antique architecture. It also offers captivating views of the Lake and Glacier in unimaginable ways. These are the two main destinations of stay, which caught my attention; But, Lake Louise has many more chic and elegant resorts and hotels that warmly welcome tourists.

Summer in Lake Louise: June-October is when Lake Louise gets the most visitors. It is the busiest around this time due to the apparent reason of relatively comfortable temperatures. The maximum temperature of the atmosphere during summer is around 18-20°C. However, the lake-water stays at 4°C(maximum). The most popular summer activity is canoeing. Canoeing through the irresistible, mighty mountain peaks, while fawning over the turquoise hues seems pretty thrilling. Lake Louise and all the natural land nearby is gifted with some of the most adventurous, alluring trails. Click HERE to find some exhilarating hikes, long and short, having some of the most enchanting views. Even though I haven’t personally been there, my favourite is the “Plain of Six Glaciers Hike” through research. 

Winter in Lake Louise: The sun generally sets before 5 pm during November-May, the lowest atmospheric temperature is about -20°C, and hence the crowd during winter is comparatively less. Lake Louise is frozen during most winter and is an excellent opportunity to go ice skating with your partner(cute date;)), or kids, or have a great laugh with friends. This place is home to one of the world’s best ski resorts, the “Lake Louise Ski Resort”. Outdoor lovers should not miss this electrifying opportunity to go skiing and snowboarding at one of the finest. Other than that, we can’t forget the highly dramatic experience of snowshoeing or tobogganing or dog sledding through the rugged mountain peaks, glaciers, and a breathtaking frozen lake! If you visit Lake Louise towards the end of January or beginning of February, you might be able to revel in the magnificent Ice Magic Festival. Ice sculptors/carvers participate and create fascinating ice carvings for you to stare at in disbelief.

Cheers!!

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 4 – The Northern Lights (Part 2)

Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months. Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Continued from Part 1 ~

  • Russia-  

Северное сияние россии (Pronounced as- Severnoye siyaniye rossii) (Northern Lights of Russia)

The location of Russia has worked for the benefit of Northern Lights viewing since the Arctic Circle passes through half the country. The entire Kola Peninsula is a splendid and prime location for admiring the beauty of the dancing lights. Murmansk in the Kola Peninsula has over 40 days of continuous night and hence is ideal for viewing these Lights. Murmansk is also the World’s largest city above the Arctic Circle! The sky above the Khibiny Mountains in the Kola Peninsula beams and shines brightly with the colourful Aurora Borealis. Frozen lakes, waterfalls, snow-covered peaks, all add to the picturesque destination. This area is easily accessible and can be travelled in snowmobiles. In the heart of the Russian North, Arkhangelsk, the Lights become brighter as you move away from the more populated areas. This region is also home to Severodvinsk city which has magnificent wooden architecture and ruins, that compliment the awe-inspiring phenomenon. If you want to enjoy the preserved Nenets culture, their myths, legends, some interesting theories about the Lights along with relishing in them, then go on a journey to Naryan-Mar. It is unique and pleasant. A combination of roaming reindeers in snow and the shimmering Northern Lights seem to be a part of a fairytale book. Novaya Zemlya, one of the most extreme locations, makes this once-in-a-lifetime experience possible. Taimyr, “the edge of the cold”, the “land of rare Northern Lights”, has 285 days of winter, north of this peninsula. The Northern Lights here comprise of almost every colour of the rainbow. Stunning streaks of orange, yellow, pink, purple, green will be seen like a mesmerizing painting. Another such city is Salekhard in the Yamal region. Those long, dark, never-ending nights have multi-coloured Aurora Borealis as rays of hope. Ironically, the local Nenets call it “Nger Harp” – “the light of the dead”. The low temperatures of the Yamal Peninsula are worth staying in not just for the extraordinary Lights but also for taking part in Northern Nomads’ lifestyle, experiencing their ancient culture. Locals of the city of Vorkuta say that towards North Vorkuta, the Aurora can be seen even in the summer. However, during winter, they can be seen in the morning, afternoon, and evening as well with flamboyant green, red, white designs in the sky.

ура !! (Pronounced as- ura !! ) (Cheers !!)

  • Northern Canada– 

Northern Lights of Canada

Northern Canada has some of the most spectacular sightings of Aurora Borealis due to its latitude of 65.8° North and minimal light pollution. 64.2823° N- This location of Yukon territory has secured its position on the list of the World’s best places to see the Northern Lights. In this territory, the city of Whitehorse keeps in mind both a tourist’s comfort and perfect Aurora viewing destination. Whitehorse has the best Northern Lights hotels in all of Canada. Most have majestic Chalets with huge glass windows to adore the Aurora Borealis peacefully in the warmth of your cozy Chalet. The Northwest Territories lie in the Auroral Zone. Its capital, Yellowknife, is one of the most famous places to enjoy the graceful Lights due to its flat landscape and cloudless skies. The remote dwelling of Tujtoyaktuk, also a part of these territories, will guarantee you some splendid, heavenly show of the Lights. There are waves and lines of purple, red, green, and all very bright its an incredibly alluring experience. Another remote territory of the Arctic is the Nunavut Territory. In its capital, Iqaluit on Baffin Island, you’ll have a beautiful, snowy backdrop and the Aurora Borealis enveloping you. If you love an eerie silence and are a fan of chilly weather, this is the place for your escapade as it is the most deserted place for viewing the Lights. Take a long trek to the viewpoint in Churchill, Manitoba, located just below the Auroral Oval, to get an ogle-worthy sight of the Lights(one of the best). You may even be lucky enough to meet a cuddly polar bear, too! Head to the Canadian Rockies and admire the Northern Lights with complementary city lights, gorgeous mountain ranges, and a starry night. The two most photogenic landscape views will be achievable at Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Near the research centre of Aurora Borealis, the Athabasca University Geophysical Observatory, Alberta lies an ethereal trail. An unreal, utopian forest is a part of this trail, so is the Athabaska River. Use cross-country skis to travel around or take a stroll and savour its beauty as the Lights hover over you. Lake Superior, Ontario, has a vast region of water on one side. Its north shore gives an elegant awe-filled background to the Lights. The scenic Gulf Shore Parkway at Prince Edward Island has minimum light pollution, low population, haunting dark skies, open views of the sky. You can just take a drive gazing skyward, or stop at Covehead Lighthouse and capture the graceful Aurora Borealis.

Cheers !!

  • Greenland– 

This sentence is in Danish, I could not find an English to Greenlandic (one of the official languages of Greenland along with Danish) translator sorry!!

Nordlys i Grønland (Northern Lights of Greenland)

At the World’s Largest Island, the Northern Lights are best seen on a dark, cloud-free autumn/winter night. The locals compare it to fluttering yellow-green curtains. Greenland is an ideal location since it is mostly uninhabited. Kangerlussuaq is one such location with clear skies and a low population. It is popular among tourists, primarily due to the marvelous views from the top of the Greenland Ice Cap. Greenland Ice Cap covers 80% of the country and is easily accessible from Kangerlussuaq. It is known for giving the World’s most magnificent view of the Aurora Borealis. The comfort of the second largest city, Sisimiut, is best for wanderers. Visit the outskirts of this town, and according to the accurate forecast time, you can easily see the Northern Lights. The enormous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ilulissat Icefjord, will render you speechless. Now imagine that, combined with the phenomenal Northern Lights, would be a magical sight to behold. An icy bluish-green shade takes over the entire sky, and it’s an exquisite circumstance. The small village of Kulusuk, enriched in Greenland’s history, will let you see the Lights while hiking, dog-sledding, and fishing among many activities. The 250 people there are sure to provide a warm, hearty welcome. Lastly, the city of Tasiilaq on the eastern coast of Greenland is undoubtedly for adventure-lovers. Partaking in Greenland’s incredible outdoor adventures while also looking at an abstract painting come to life is the thrill an adventurous person seeks. 

Skål !! (Cheers !!)

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

*I do not own these pictures*

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 4- The Northern Lights (Part 1)

Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months. Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are a natural display of vivid, bright lights seen in the Earth’s sky, particularly in colours of green, pink, purple, yellow, and red. This bewitching, magical phenomenon is caused when gaseous particles of the Earth’s atmosphere collide with charged particles released from the Sun’s atmosphere. This, however, is the scientific reason. At the same time, the ancients have so many mythical theories that are extremely interesting to read about. Click here.

Find locations with high solar activity, the darkest night skies, minimum artificial light or clouds, and book your tickets between September and March. You’re good to go.
Here are some of the countries which provide the most alluring, aesthetically pleasing Aurora-watching experience!

  • Norway – Nordlys i Norge (Northern Lights of Norway) This Scandinavian country houses one of the highest numbers of Northern Light viewing locations. The Northern Lights in Norway are best seen between 65° North and 75° North. Tromsø, “the capital of the Arctic”, lies in the middle of the aurora zone, at 69° North, and is the largest city of Northern Norway. One of the best views would be standing before the Lyngsalpene mountain range(East of Tromsø) and getting mesmerized by the colourful showers emerging above it. The cloudless, sparkling night skies of Lyngenfjord, make it one of the most photographed northern light viewing destinations. Watch the purples, the greens spread over and dance across the heavens, above the mountaintops. As you chase the Northern Lights, you’ll come across the perfect wallpaper like picturesque land of Lofoten Islands. Sit ready at the northern side of these islands to revel in the Aurora with a great background. Svalbard, the northernmost point of viewing the lights, located very close to the North Pole at 78° North, is the only place where the Northern Lights can be seen during the day as well! It is a different and unimaginable experience altogether. Its polar location leads to almost complete darkness from November to February. Lastly, Alta gets a lot of tourists as well due to its not-so-low temperatures. Jubel !! ( Cheers !!)
  • Iceland– Norðurljós Íslands (Northern Lights of Iceland) The “Land of Fire and Ice” fulfills a traveller’s dream of chilling with the “Green Lady” (Name given to the Northern Lights by inhabitants of Iceland). The best opportunity is at a location of 65° North. The ideal time to watch Aurora Borealis is between 9:30 p.m and 1:00 am in most of Iceland. The remote town of Westfjords allows you a recluse getaway while watching the lights as you move further away from the bright cities, enjoying its autumn beauty. Ride up to North Iceland(mostly to the East of North Iceland), having longer hours of darkness and enjoy the Auroras with volcanoes and glaciers within your line of sight. Reykjavik has nearly 20 darkness hours a day at the time of winter equinox. Watch the mighty lights at Grótta lighthouse, admiring the streaks of green, purple, white, and a little orange(during sunset) flow in the sky. Öskjuhlíð hill overlooks a seashore and a forest, providing with a pleasant scenery to enjoy the Northern Lights. Also, many cruises from Reykjavik and Akureyri allow tourists to hop on, view the Lights as well as wave at a few whales. Skál !! (Cheers !!)
  • Finland– Suomen pohjoisvalot (Northern Lights of Finland) Imagine lying in a glass igloo, looking up to see the sky changing colours, blessing us with the beauty of the “revontulet” (Finnish word for the Northern Lights). This is what you get at the Finnish Lapland, my personal favourite. Combining adventures and sightseeing is the most common means of adoring Aurora here. Go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sled dog touring underneath the colourful “fox fires” a.k.a the Finnish Northern Lights. The best time is between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am where these Lights are the most breathtaking. Kemi is the most famous town for viewing them due to its perfect position and famous Snow Castle. You can get comfortable in glass villas located right on the outskirts of this town. The lakeside, small village of Nellim lets you savour the Aurora Borealis with shimmering waters under the night sky. You can go hunting and chasing the Northern Lights. Still, there are a few places specially designed with architectural perfection that will give you the most enjoyable views. Yllas Ski resort is located on a street that turns off its illumination after 10 pm for the spectacular display. Luosto ski resort blares an “Aurora Alarm” whenever the Northern Lights appear. The resort village of Saariselkä consists of a plethora of glass igloo resorts to get warm and cozy under the heavenly Lights. Levi ski resort also has glass igloos and specialized Aurora Cabins to help you make the most of your journey. Lastly, the city of Inari, located 68°50′ North, 265km North of Arctic Circle, shows stunningly bright stripes, providing with one of the best views in its open, clear skies. Kippis !! (Cheers !!)
  •  Alaska– Northern Lights of Alaska The most active Aurora belt in the world is Alaska’s Great Interior. The best time to view the Northern Lights here is between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am, midnight is the prime time, but always stay alert. The ideal location for getting the most excellent light show is between 65° north and 70° North latitude. Coldfoot, in the Alaskan Arctic, has its sky beaming with the most vibrant colours of pink, green, purple, and yellow. The famous Coldfoot Camp at the Brooks Mountain Range allows an extremely high possibility for a magnificent display of the Northern Lights. Fairbanks at 64° North lies in the Auroral Oval, an area hovering right above the North Pole. Due to this location, it is one of the best places in the world to view the flamboyant Lights. During winter, this city will be covered in snow at the bottom with a shower-like multi-coloured sky above. On the northern edge of Alaska at 71° North latitude is Barrow’s small town, with its starry, dark sky. Wait for the perfect time, as the heavens change colours, showing the breathtaking beauty with multiple shades of green. St. Elias National Park, Wrangell has heart-flattering snow-covered mountains and glistening glaciers, making it an alluring Aurora-watching destination. Denali National Park, known for the highest mountain peak in North America, has a similar scenery with a bonus of snow-covered pine trees during winters. Narnia does exist after all. If you want to get acquainted with the culture of rural Alaska, interact with the inhabitants under the dazzling skies of aloof Nome. Take the Juneau cruise to get a different view of the Northern Lights with shimmering water beneath and the Lights in the distance, a perfect picture. Cheers !!
  • Sweden– Nordljus i Sverige (Northern Lights of Sweden) Absolutely any city that is a part of the quarter-country covering Swedish Lapland, is greeted by the Northern Lights. Here, the lights can be seen as early as 6:00 am, but the most spectacular reveal is between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm. The most fantastic experience will be for you to get a close-up view of the Northern Lights. A Northern Lights flight is operated by Spaceport Sweden in Kiruna, allowing you to feel the phenomenon, gliding through the Lights. Get bundled up in all your best woollens and head to the Aurora Sky Station at Abisko National Park. The graceful, dancing Lights will make you forget about everything else, including the chilly weather! The underpopulated town of Jukkasjärvi is home to the world-famous Icehotel. First in the world as well, and the shiny crystals never disappoint to complement the Aurora-watching escapades. Porjus lies on the edge of a gorgeous lake with the scenery straight out of a fairy-tale book. Enjoy a romantic evening with the Aurora Borealis watching over you since it will surely provide great views, as it is only 60km away from the Arctic Circle. See nature at its best, take a stroll amongst fresh air as you reach the northern town of Jokkmokk while chasing the Lights. Luleå, a coastal city in Lapland, is also an excellent destination for the bright green, purple swirls to appear in its clear skies and pleasant atmosphere. Although, a cozy lodge, in the middle of the woods, surrounded by pine trees, enveloped in snow, seems extremely picture-perfect for enjoying the Northern Lights in Sweden. That’s achievable at Pine Tree Lodge, Särkimukka. Skål !! (Cheers !!)

Tighten your seat belts, get ready for the journey of Aurora Borealis in Russia, Northern Canada and Greenland, coming up next! To be continued in part 2….

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

*I do not own these pictures*

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 3- Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months. Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Welcome to Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia.

Whitehaven Beach is a 7km long stretch, the largest of the most beautiful island group of Australia, i.e., the majestic Whitsundays. This beach got its name from the fact that the sand here is made from 98.9% pure silica and does not retain heat at all, hence, soft, delicate, and, of course, a heart-flattering white. The portrayal of nature at its most untouched, most original form, made it a safe haven. Pure silica sand has accumulated at the beach due to continuous sea currents over millions of years. You can take a comfortable stroll with the sun right above, not feel like your feet are on fire while enjoying the beauty of those swirling, turquoise waters.

Doesn’t it feel unearthly and maybe like Paradise? 

You can reach this island either by a boat(speedboat), as part of a cruise, through ocean rafting, or a helicopter. There are two routes to arrive here: from Airlie Beach and from Hamilton Island. One of the best features about Whitehaven is that it has absolutely no shops, no restaurants, nothing to disturb an unreal, recluse visit. So don’t forget to pack plenty of food and water from Hamilton Island. 

There are different means of relishing the breathtaking, most photographed beach of Australia. Walk hand in hand, feel the sea and sand at once at the shallow shoreline of Whitehaven. Experience it the lavish way as you get a royalty like treatment on a Catamaran cruise or in the privacy of a boat or yacht. Get on the seaplane to get the best of both worlds- the aerial view and interacting with its underwater world as it glides through the water surface. Hop on a helicopter if you’re not afraid of heights to see an abstract painting come to life as the white sand swirls with the blue sea with a picturesque view of corals. Photography lovers are going to cherish hiking up Hill Inlet to reach the Tongue Point and capture land meeting endless water.

It’s lovely, isn’t it? 

Moving onto the essential, and my favourite- the water activities. Whitehaven Beach allows you to sail or jet ski through its waters to interact with marine life, from turtles to dolphins. The most exciting part is the wave from mighty humpback whales, which are spotted during the colder season. As you snorkel, make sure to snap a selfie with the turtles. The Whitehaven underwater-world belongs to the famous Great Barrier Reef. Diving deep welcomes you into ‘a whole new world’ of corals and picture-perfect reefs. It’s easy and entirely comfortable to swim here as there are no large waves or rip tides. Have the time of your life, swim, and scuba-dive with sleek manta rays, rare but dangerous saltwater crocodiles, along with a plethora of cute little tropical fish. Manta rays, for the most part, are friendly to humans and won’t mind if you capture their smooth, graceful movements. 

After a tiring trip, you finally get to relax and rejuvenate on the beach, admiring the forest scenery as you meet and greet a Goanna or the Lace Monitor Lizard while listening to the chirping of small Asian Geckos. (let’s just ignore the presence of slimy, wet green tree frogs and cane toads;))

Cheers!!

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

*I do not own these pictures*

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 2- Colourful Streets Of Istanbul,Turkey

Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months. Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

İstanbul’un renkli sokaklarına hoş geldiniz.(Welcome to the colourful streets of Istanbul)

First, let me make you familiar with Istanbul. Istanbul is one of the most culturally and historically rich cities in Turkey and is the most populous. It is home to the majestic Bosphorus strait which divides the two major continents, Europe and Asia. Apart from the delicious treats, splendid, detailed architecture, and the welcoming nature of the natives, Istanbul has some hidden avenues that are going to attract you the most.

Let me introduce you to the most colourful district of Istanbul. Balat district lies on the European side of the city and is an abode to mesmerizing, colourful streets and aesthetic, cozy multi-coloured houses. These places are hidden, maybe cowering away between two shops, hoping someone greets them with their presence. You’ll have to see carefully as you walk through a neighbourhood where history meets hipster.

This will turn out to be a once in a lifetime experience where you are in a Narnia like situation as you climb up the rainbow steps and enter a world where each wall is unique. Exquisite street art with graffiti, modern, eclectic pastel-colored bohemian cafes, vintage-styled local shops, and cute, vibrant homes will warmly welcome you to over a 200-year-old dwelling. Festive season greets you with simple yet flamboyant umbrella decoration.

It resides Jewish, Greek Orthodox, and a few Armenian communities and was previously called the Jewish quarter. This will let you explore magnificent synagogues, churches, and architecturally well-defined schools. Don’t forget to begin your day with a fulfilling Turkish breakfast which includes tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, and your eggs just how you’d like, with many other things. Cooklife Balat, Balatkapi cafe are two of the most famous cafes for breakfast. Wait your day isn’t over yet! Go grab a relaxing dinner with their staple dish lahmacun, best kebabs, Turkish pizza, baklava for dessert at Forno restaurant, and many other mouth-watering eateries.

After spending an entire day or two in Balat, visit the streets of Fener district right behind it. Their beauty lies in wooden, old houses, sidewalk bistros, age-old churches like the Church of St. George, mosques, and the multicultural Phanar Greek Orthodox College. After a tiring day of mind-blowing sight-seeing, go to a meyhane in the Fener neighbourhood to relax with alcohol and some meze right before a delicious meal. Beyoglu district has some of the best meyhanes however, Fener has quite a few good ones too. At the end of the day, as you walk into your hotel room, jump on your bed and get cozy under the sheets listening to the city chaos lulling you to sleep with promises of dreams about a fascinating trip.

So, put on your most comfortable shoes to embrace this steep-sloped journey of walking, clicking, dining, and admiring.

Şerefe !! (Cheers!!)

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

*I do not own these pictures*

SERIES 3 – aEsTHeTiC aVeNuEs; TOPIC 1- Santorini, Greece

Hey guysss, hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Whether we like it or not, we know that there won’t be any travelling for everyone over the next few months.

Thanks to the internet along with tourist reviews, that even without travelling to these places myself, I have attempted to give you a virtual travel experience of some of the most beautiful, aesthetic places on Earth and will continue to do the same during the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Καλώς ήλθατε στη Σαντορίνη(Welcome to Santorini), the most insanely beautiful island of the Cyclades(a group of islands in the Aegean Sea), crafted naturally and built above an underwater caldera(crater) as a result of the 16th century B.C. volcanic eruption.

SANTORINI, GREECE

Fira is the capital of Santorini. A tourist-filled village, best for nightlife enthusiasts who enjoy shopping, hanging out, eating, or drinking. Most of the restaurants here are specially made for tourists with over 200 hotels and a beautiful view of the caldera. The village’s specialty also involves a peaceful boat ride which takes the tourists through the refreshing waters of the Aegean Sea to the volcano and active craters. Take a walk throughout Fira, capture memories and you are good to go.


Moving on to Oia, the aesthetically pleasing village awaits you. It always makes you wanna have your camera out and snap a picture as you glide through the curvy streets and vintage staircases of Oia. Famous for its eye-catching white houses, white-washed walls and, majestic blue domes, this village is an epitome of iconic Greek architecture. Explore the hidden, unexplored stairways and paths of Oia and while you’re at it don’t forget to get a few pictures for your social handles.

Experience architectural beauty while grabbing a smoothie or coffee or their staple food on the way. Go to Passaggio cafe to have the best coffee and the most aesthetic pictures ever, Lolita’s Gelato for the best ice-cream, PyraGyros for the best Kebabs, and numerous bakeries for the syrupy, sweet specialty i.e. Baklava.

Don’t miss out on the donkey ride which takes you around the winding alleys, crafty windmills of Oia village, and Amoudi Bay which gives you a view of unique volcanic landscapes and islets. To peacefully end a pleasingly-eventful day in this village, go hike up to the Oia castle or get aboard a sailing cruise to witness an unforgettable golden sunset.


A few minutes drive from Oia lies the village of Perissa which is home to two naturally created, attractive beaches, the Red Rock Beach and the Black Sand Beach. Their names do pull you in like gravity.


Last but definitely not the least, do spend the last night of your trip on top of a cliff and catch a view of the after-sunset, blue hour Santorini.

Στην υγειά σας !! ( Cheers!!)

Stay home, stay safe((:

~Vee

*I do not own these pictures*

SERIES 2 – flAvORouS fOoD; TOPIC 3 – Dhokla Fondue

My family and I visited a restaurant named “The Secret Kitchen” located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India and wanted to try something different. Scouring through the menu stating different dishes and delicacies, I came across this indo-western, fusion dish called the “Dhokla Fondue”.


Amongst the various unique dishes, this one caught my eye and I immediately decided to order it. Trust me when I say that it was one of the best decisions of my life, as far as food is concerned.


I was curious to try it out and couldn’t wait. Soon the waiter brought our dish and its delicious aroma wafted into my nose. The dish was placed in front of me with an eye-catching presentation. The hot fondue on its stand, the yellow sponge-cake(Dhokla) garnished with black mustard seeds, chopped cilantro and curry leaves sprinkled on top was accompanied by a colourful sliced salad. Finally, it was time for me to taste it and either be happy about my choice or regret the same(which, obviously I didn’t haha).


The main part of the dish was Dhokla along with the fondue as cheesy “khatta moong“(sour whole green lentils). These two separate Indian dishes acted as ingredients for the main Switzerland origin dish, the fondue.


I picked up a piece of the soft, spongy Dhokla with the fork and dipped it in the semi-solid fondue. Taking the first bite, the spicy, sour, cheesy, nutty, tasteful flavours hit me all at once as the combination of both items melted in my mouth beautifully, making it a delectable experience.


Well, we all know what happened after that. I think I barely left anything for my parents to eat later as the dish kept beckoning me to have it, bite after bite. I grew so fond of this remarkable fondue that each time we went to that restaurant, I made sure to order this dish.

Take care, and stay safe((:

~Vee

SERIES 2 – flAvORouS fOoD; TOPIC 2 – Quesadilla

Pronounced as ‘k-sa-dee-ya’, A Mexican dish.

You can eat quesadilla for literally any meal during the day be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between. The aroma of a freshly prepared quesadilla always draws me in like a bait towards it. Oh my God, here it comes. 

Sitting on a plate like a gift with the crispy tortilla as the wrapping paper. Its stuffing oozes out, giving me a glimpse of what is to come next. Finally, as I take my first bite, the crust of the tortilla with the spicy, cheesy, vegetable stuffing is like a dance party for my taste buds.  Bite after bite, the crunchy corn, the soft bell-peppers, and the melted cheese give me a sense of complete satisfaction. 

This dish is one of my favourites due to the varied but delicious flavours and how every person has their own kind of stuffing. (with cheese being common in all, of course, you can’t go without cheese;)). There are so many ways to make a vegetarian quesadilla like:

  1. Only using cheese for the stuffing
  2. Spinach and cheese
  3. Onion, green capsicum, and cheese
  4. And last but not least: corn, red, yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach and cheese

, with seasonings of your choice!

Well, for the most part, you don’t need sides or dips but if you do want some scrumptious dips on the side, then here are a few of them:

  1. Guacamole
  2. Hummus 
  3. Salsa
  4. Tomato Sauce

Just writing about a quesadilla makes me want to stuff my face with it.

Happy eating!! 

Take care and stay safe((:

~Vee

Home-made vegetarian quesadilla with nachos on the side