Minimalism & Veganism

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Minimalism & Veganism

One time, I ordered a matching set of Calvin Klein underwear online before I'd even eaten breakfast. And then I spent the next 100 days agonising about whether or not to send them back. What a waste of time.

Here are five ways minimalism changed my life. Maybe it will change yours too.

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The #1 Secret for Super Cheap Travel

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The #1 Secret for Super Cheap Travel

 Super cheap travel

A week-long trip to Bora Bora can easily cost upwards of $15,000. Yes, you read that right. Fifteen Thousand Dollars.

Um, no thanks. I mean, hello, we're students, we can't afford anywhere near that much! But Bora Bora was my DREAM destination. So we absolutely HAD to make it work on the ultra-cheap. We managed to do it for a tiny fraction of that cost.

Read on to discover my secret to SUPER cheap travel.

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To get super cheap travel, we have to figure out what the costs are. 

Main costs:
1) Getting there (Transport).
2) Accommodation
3) Activities
4) Food

(There are plenty of other expenses like travel insurance and shopping too, but usually they aren't the main costs).

Number 1) Getting there - wasn't the problem. There are cheap flights to just about everywhere in the world, flights are on sale all the time. We got SUPER cheap flights. Cheaper than some domestic flights within NZ. 

Number 2) Accomodation - In Bora Bora, accommodation can be seriously expensive. Overwater bungalows can cost up to $2000 per night! But we got an awesome deal at a fraction of that price by buying our accommodation in a package with our flights. 

Number 3) Activities - This is where we wanted to spend our money - to actually enjoy the amazing activities in Bora Bora! Snorkeling tours, quad bikes, jet skiing, star gazing, massages, fire dancing shows, you name it, we did it! Annnnnd again, we got it cheap as. Booking ahead of time, getting deals, chatting with the locals - we totally aced the activities part of the trip. You can see us LOVING IT in our Bora Bora travel video here.

But the main reason we saved more than $1000 isn't about transport, accommodation or activities. It was to do with the fourth thing on the list.

Number 4) Food. It all comes down to being vegan. 

(Yes, really.)

My boyfriend Daniel had just gone vegan the week before we left, and I had been vegan for about 6 months. Both of us knew where we stood - there was no budging or sneaking a little meat, dairy or eggs just because we were on holiday. There aren't cheat days with veganism! We were serious about it then, and we always will be. 

But if you've ever been to Tahiti, you'll know that all they eat is seafood and meat! Soooo much of it! We heard it would be tricky to source vegan food on the island, as everything has to be flown in, and there are no supermarkets. 

But wait, what's being vegan got to do with saving money on holiday? Won't it just cost more to order vegan food in a place where it's so rare? Well, that's what we thought.

So we decided to get creative. 

It made us do something we would NEVER have done if we were carnists. 

Are you ready?

The #1 Secret to SUPER Cheap Travel...

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BYOF: Bring Your Own Food.

I'm serious.

It can cost up to $100 per meal in Bora Bora if you have a few drinks and a dessert too. That can add up to more than $1000 each, just for a week of food. No thank you! 

So we brought all our own food in a suitcase! The 23kg luggage allowance is a lot when you think about it in terms of noodles and muesli bars! We went to the supermarket in Wellington where we live, stocked up a week's worth of food and took it in a suitcase. We made sure we had lots of ready-to-eat meals because we knew our hotel room wouldn't have a stove or an oven. 

Ugh, you're thinking. BYO food on holiday? That doesn't sound like fun at all.

Well, we ended up spending less than $50 each for a week of food. That's less than what you would pay just for one lunch in Bora Bora! We literally saved THOUSANDS. And with that money, we planned our next holiday (to Europe!). A week of expensive food in Bora Bora, or a week of BYO food in Bora Bora and a WHOLE OTHER HOLIDAY as well

Trust me, it was totally worth it. We still got to try local fruits and veggies at breakfast (our package included breakfast every day), and because we weren't worried about getting back to the resort in time for dinner, we were able to spend more time snorkeling, jet skiing, and quad biking. Win-win!

But wait a second. You might be thinking,

"Well okay, but surely you don't have to be vegan to do this, right?"

Wrong! When we landed in Tahiti we were stopped at security for a bag check. They wanted to know if we had any meat, dairy or eggs. When they saw that we didn't, they let us straight through! So the only reason it worked is BECAUSE we're vegan! 

So being vegan actually meant we HAD TO SAVE MONEY - we had no other option but to do our holiday on the cheap!

$$$ Cha-ching! $$$

What do you think? Would you try this? Let me know in the comments! 

Kisses!

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What is Veganism?

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What is Veganism?

Vegans choose not to eat, wear, use, test on or consume animals or animal products in any way. That means a lifestyle without meat, dairy or eggs, as well as leather, fur and wool. Vegans choose to eat food that comes from peaceful, non-animal sources.

I believe that since we don't need animals to survive or thrive, choosing a peaceful, plant-based option is the best way to reduce the unnecessary suffering that animals endure for our food, clothing, entertainment and cosmetics.

Veganism Benefits Everyone

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65 billion animals are sent to slaughter every single year for no good reason.

Find out more about the benefits of veganism to animals.

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A vegan diet can help prevent, treat and even reverse the top three leading causes of death in the Western World.
Find out more about the health benefits of veganism.

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Livestock and their byproducts account for more than 51% of all CO2 emissions. That's more than the entire transportation sector combined. 
Find out more about the environmental benefits of veganism.

Sread the love. 
Go vegan.

Try the FREE 22 Day Vegan Challenge!

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Take Me Back to Bora Bora

Hey babes! It's been nearly a year since Daniel and I went to Bora Bora - I'm still in love with the island and I daydream about it a little too much! I just had to share the video of our time there again - it was truly the most incredible trip. P.S. Daniel had just joined me with going vegan a week before, and so we both had to figure out a way to make it work on an island that only seems to eat seafood! But we did it, and it was surprisingly easy. Makes sure to check out my blog post about it in the travel section!
Kisses!

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Vegan Eco Skincare

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Vegan Eco Skincare

“Beauty is Pain”

Wait, what? 

People all over the world stand by this motto, but I don't believe in it. Maybe it’s because of my low pain tolerance. Or maybe it's because I just don't want to cause harm to myself or others. Suffering isn’t beautiful, it’s ugly. 

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Instead, I believe that true beauty is pleasure, not pain. You shouldn’t have to wax your body from head to toe, or wear heels that nearly break your ankles, or use products that cause harm to animals. And skincare is no exception. With skincare, the clue is in the world – it should take care of your skin, not harm it.

Volo Skincare’s Anti-Blemish Spray is my go-to natural elixir for imperfections.

It’s completely vegan, cruelty-free, and it’s not tested on animals. With Manuka oil (extracted from the manuka tree, not from bee honey), it’s a fabulous alternative to my nasty chemically processed products. Tea tree is the active ingredient that provides natural acne relief. The spray mechanism provides the benefit of being able to reach anywhere your skin may have blemishes, unlike a cream or a wash. The mixture has a refreshing scent that feels clean and hydrating.

The word “volo” translates from Latin as ‘I want...’.

The beautiful packaging reflects this encouraging motto. Printed inside the box are hundred of different desires to inspire magnificent action.
I want to... Build an empire. Believe in myself. Offer gratitude. 

So what do I want from my skincare? I want to feel beauty without pain. I want to know that my beauty isn't harming others.

This anti-blemish spray fulfils that desire. It benefits the environment, the animals, and my health. Volo that!

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You can get Volo Skincare Anti-blemish spray here.

What do you want? Let me know in the comments below!
With love,

 

I am not receiving payment for this blog post. All opinions are my own.

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Vegan Zero Waste Food: What I Buy

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Vegan Zero Waste Food: What I Buy

Zero Waste? Like, none? 

That's right, Zero. Nada. Nil. Zilch.
Well, mostly.


Absolute zero is the goal, and almost-zero is the reality for most people who live a zero waste lifestyle. It's reeeally tricky to stop making any waste all together - there are some things that are just unavoidable (mostly health/medication related). 
However, that doesn't mean we can't try.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

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So here's exactly what I do to make my weekly shop (almost perfectly) zero waste.

ONE. I buy all of my fruit and vegetables totally unpacked from the local Sunday market. I used to buy them at the overpriced supermarket near me, and now I can't imagine spending as much as I once did! It has cut my food costs in half (if there was ever a selfish reason to go zero waste, this is it!).

TWO. I bring a reusable bag, and refuse plastic at all costs. That means no pre-packaged tomatoes (which are always sitting right next to the loose tomatoes anyway), no plastic tags or stickers and definitely no plastic bags.

THREE. For the things that traditionally come in packaging, I try to find alternatives for everything. I buy freshly made loaves of bread and have them sliced up behind the counter (and put into a reusable bag), I buy pasta, beans, spices and flour from the pull-down self-serve dispensers. And I don't shop at a fancy store, they actually have these dispensers at any old supermarket, I just hadn't ever been looking. Wait, doesn't it cost more to buy it all like that? Nope! So much of the cost of our food is in the packaging, so buying it without is often less expensive. 

I was inspired to go zero waste by the Goddess of zero waste, Bea Johnson, who pretty much invented the concept of modern day zero waste.


Another one of my favourite zero waste bloggers is Lauren Singer.
She made me realise how easy it is to fit two years of trash into a mason jar!

What do you do to reduce your waste? Have any questions? Leave me a comment below!

With love,

 

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3 Ways to Save Money While Travelling

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3 Ways to Save Money While Travelling

If there is one place on earth that is truly paradise, it's Bora Bora.

And on the hottest, most beautiful day of my trip, I wasted more than 90 minutes inside a crowded gift shop, choosing expensive souvenirs. Which tacky set of overpriced matching shot glasses would best capture the essence of my trip? I didn't even like shot glasses, but I had to choose something, right? Nope. Take only memories, leave only footprints. And save money while you're at it!

Follow my 3 ways to save money while travelling - so you don't have to make the same mistakes I did!

Budget Travel Tips

1) Minimise Pre-Holiday Purchases
Even though I'm a self-proclaimed minimalist, when I first started planning one of my island trips, I got drawn back into the materialism trap. Of course I'll need to buy a new camera, a waterproof attachment and come to think of it, won't I also need a 4K drone? Plus five new dresses, new flip flops, a different bikini for everyday of the trip... right? Luckily, someone brought to my attention that none of that was going to enhance my trip. I was really going to Tahiti to experience the culture, environment and activities. So I borrowed a video camera, made a DIY Go-Pro floatation device and found some brand new bikini, tags and all, from a thrift store. No one had worn them and they would have otherwise been thrown away. The only new thing I purchased was a snorkel. So coral of the story (yes, pun intended): with a bit of creative thinking, I managed to get everything I needed without buying (almost) anything brand new. Savings! Cha-ching! $$$

2) Go easy on the bottled water
Some travel destinations don't have natural water springs, or the water is unclean, so incredible quantities of bottled water are flown in from other countries. If you're staying at your destination for a week like I did, and buy several water bottles per day, that could add up to more than 20 or 30 bottles over the trip, which is an excessive waste of money, not to mention plastic. Instead, you can bring reusable water bottles like I did, and boil the water each night to prepare for the next day. Alternatively, I know some people like using chlorine tabs to clean the tap water before drinking.

3) Take home memories, not souvenirs
I wasted more than an hour in a gift shop on one of the most stunning days of my island trip. Which would be the best souvenir to represent my trip, an oversized foam hibiscus hair clip or an assorted range of island-print table mats? It stressed me out more than I'd like to admit, so I flagged the whole thing. I had wonderful pictures, videos and memories. I'd supported the local economy in plenty of other, non-consumerist ways like food and activities. I didn't need to buy a matching set of shot glasses imported from China and support a consumerist lifestyle. Remember why you've travelled all this way, and go enjoy the beach!

My Travel Video

Follow me on Instagram to see more of my Vegan Travel Adventures!

With love,

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A Slice of Paradise

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Hey babes! Bora Bora was UNBELIEVEABLE! If there is any place that you want to come to unwind and relax, this is it! Everything is more beautiful in Tahiti. The water is clearer, the fish are more vibrant, the sunsets are mesmerizing. Ever since I learned of French Polynesia, I've had my sights set on Bora Bora. The other Polynesian Islands looked amazing in travel brochures too, but nothing could deter me from Bora Bora. And I'll tell you what, it was worth it.
Day 1: Jet Skiing, Snorkeling, and Romantic Dinner.
Day 2: Kayaking, hiring a buggy to drive the entire way around the Island, and traditional dancing show. Day 3: Snorkeling, ATV excursion and Star-Gazing Tour.
Day 4: Traditional Massages, and Fire Dancing Show (and I got to join in!). We stayed for a whole week, and there was never a moment of boredom. There is so much to do, and yet it's always chilled out. We were running late to a Jet Ski excursion one day so after running onto the location sweating and panting, the local tour guide said, "Woah - relax, this is Bora Bora baby!" It sure contrasts living in a hectic city at home! There was also plenty of time to lay on the beach, read books, swim, eat, explore local culture and relax. If Bora Bora is not on your current travel wish-list, you better jot it down and bump it straight to the top!  

Kisses! 

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