Why solo travel forces you to trust strangers

“Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.”

Paul Theroux, author of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

When I told my aunt that I had been traveling alone, she was in utter shock. 

“That is so dangerous Bene! What would you do if something happens to you? What if you get lost? Who would you trust then? ” she asked, outraged by this revelation.

“I’ll ask for help or directions to the people around me” I answered smiling.

“You’ll ask for help from complete strangers? That is even more stupid than traveling alone! ” she yelled, throwing her arms over her head in a dramatic way that is typical of Congolese people. 

China, 2018. My first time traveling in the South of China, I got stuck in a tiny town which did not have a hotel.
These kind strangers offered me to stay in their impromptu “guest house” (it was actually an art school with rooms above!) and it was amazing!

I laughed at her exaggerated reaction but I understood her disbelief. “Trusting strangers” almost sounds like an oxymoron but from almost 7 years of traveling alone, I can say that there are more good people out there than they are terrible ones. Does this mean I have never experienced moments where I feared for my life or felt uncomfortable due to the presence of certain people? Of course not, life on the road is an adventure after all and it comes with a lot of surprises, amazing ones and terrible ones. However, I can genuinely say that for every bad encounter I’ve had with a stranger, I had 20 great ones. 

Indonesia, 2019: This is my amazing friend Fran. She is from Brazil but has been living in Indonesia for a year. We shared a room in a hostel in Jogjakarta. My first night there, I got REALLY sick and she basically nursed me back to health; buying me medicine, food, liquids etc. We did not leave my side during the 3 days I was sick until I got better. So grateful for her!

By choosing to go on a solo adventure, I choose to become dependent on the people that I meet while on the road. I become dependent on strangers for their help if I am lost and Google Maps does not do the job. If I feel lonely, I am dependent on their kindness; whether that be sharing a cup of tea with me, or telling me stories about their homes. Sometimes, there is no choice but to trust to trust strangers; If I do not speak the local language, I am even more so dependent on the help of strangers who do speak it and can help me figure out my way around. 

I often hear that solo travel makes you ‘stronger’ and more ‘independent’, which is true, but I also believe it makes you the opposite too. Solo travel makes you dependent on people you do not know and it also makes you vulnerable and shall I even say… humble. No matter how resourceful of a person I may be, no matter how much knowledge the Internet makes accessible to me, no matter how much I think “I got this”; there are times when I have to put my life in the hands of strangers. And that’s the risk but also the beauty of adventures and life on the road.

This day I sat on the beach, feeling quite down about different things and this mom and her child stopped to talk to me. She saw that I looked sad and wanted to know if I was okay. We chatted for a while and by the time they left, this simple interaction had made my day.

But so far? I have never once regretted trusting a stranger whenever I needed help. Wherever I have been, I was able to meet incredible humans who took time and energy in order to make me feel welcomed, cared for and protected. It would take me forever to list all the times I have been on the receiving end of kind actions from strangers, but here are a few examples: 


Xiamen, China, 2018
Mulan, the woman I met in a restaurant during my first solo trip in the south of China. I spoke very little Mandarin at the time and she did not speak English therefore we mostly communicated via Google Translate. Nonetheless, she showed me around her city, took me out for many diners and even insisted on buying me jewelry as a souvenir of my time with her. Why did she do that? In her own words, “You are a guest in my home, it is normal that I take care of you. When I come to your home, you will do the same for me”

Hong Kong, 2015
In 2015, I went swimming in a natural infinity pool somewhere on the border between Hong Kong and Macao. That day, the current was strong and I was not a confident swimmer at the time (thank God that has changed). I started panicking and quickly lost my strength as I felt myself being pushed down the deep waters of the pool. Out of nowhere, a young man (who was not there when we entered the pool, we were alone) jumped in the water, pulled me out and saved me from drowning.

New York, USA, 2019 
Summer 2019, a blackout paralyzed the entire island of Manhattan. I was in the subway on my way to the bus station to catch an overnight bus to Charlotte, about 12 hours away from the city. The subway came to a halt due to the lack of electricity and everyone was forced to get off. I then tried to hail a taxi but it was impossible as everyone else had the same brilliant idea. A group of 3 guys, on their motorbikes saw me as I was close to tears of frustration. They asked me if I needed help and I told them I was struggling to catch a taxi. And what happened afterwards blew mine; they stopped every taxi they saw (by standing in the middle of the road!) until one finally took me on board! 

Dakar, Senegal, 2016
I had lunch at a beautiful restaurant on a boat one afternoon. I went to the bathroom, came back to my table ready to pay and when I asked the waiter for the bill, he told me someone had already taken care of it. 


These are just four of the HUNDREDS of times where I have experienced completely random kindness from and been saved by strangers. The list goes on for me but I would love to know what is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

Of course, caution has to be applied when meeting strangers and sometimes it’s best not to trust wholeheartedly someone you have just met. That’s when discernment is needed and when you have to follow your gut feeling. If someone offers to help but they make you uncomfortable, politely decline their offer and ask someone else. There will always be somebody else. With all of that being said, I think it’s important to share the beautiful stories and encounters that happen on the road because they make up the best part of traveling (in my opinion). There are great adventures waiting for you on the other side of fear and even if you travel alone, you are never lonely.

After all think about all the people you have met and now love: your best friends, your partner, your colleagues etc… They were all strangers to you at some point, right?

The advice from a stranger that changed my life

On my first night in Indonesia I met a stranger whose advice changed my life. I wanted to tell this story because it shows how one encounter can forever alter you.

After a very long flight from France, I arrived in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yogyakarta is the vibrant cultural heart of Indonesia and it was my first destination in the country. I checked in a quaint hostel tucked in a little alley and set out for an important mission: finding food.

The hostel’s young receptionist gave me some (more or less vague) recommendations of places that would carry a decent meal in the area. It was around 6pm, still bright outside and decided to stroll and see where my feet would land me.

I stumble on a long street full of restaurants and shops, it was eerily empty for this time of the day but I figured November was not a busy month in terms of tourism. I walk slowly, taking in my new environment, saying hi to the locals who were both curious and astonished at the sight of a black girl strolling in their neighborhood with such ease.

Suddenly, I see rickshaw slowing down about 2 meters before me. Its passenger gets off the old tuk-tuk with ease and to my great surprise walks straight towards me, stopping only close enough so that our foreheads wouldn’t touch. I take a couple of steps back, unarmed by this sudden invasion of privacy but he stands still, looking at me with disarming intensity. He breaks into a smile, revealing perfectly white teeth, and says: “Would you like to have diner with me?”

I look at him incredulous. He was tall, slim and his head was shaved. The deep brown of his eyes, his olive colored skin and the rhythm of his accent made me assume he could be from the Middle East.

“I am sorry, I forget that sometimes I am too forward” he added after seeing my alarmed face, “Please forgive me if I started youI just saw you walking around alone and I thought that you would maybe enjoy company and a meal. I am also a tourist here actually”.

He spoke softly but eloquently, his words marked by the rhythm distinctive of Arabic speakers. His tone was respectful but marked with a confidence that made me trust him, almost immediately. Now you must think I am the weird one for not telling him to get lost and running away, right?

See my dear friends, I have encountered many creeps, weirdos and just overall not recommendable humans during almost 7 years traveling the world. As a result, I have developed a sixth sense when it comes down to spotting “good strangers”, from “stranger danger”. Maybe not a sixth sense but I trust my gut to save me from potential harm. Especially as a female solo traveler, I cannot emphasize how important the necessity to follow your instinct and to pay attention to how someone makes you feel. If there is 0.1% chance that someone makes me uncomfortable, especially a man, trust me: I will run away. And I run fast.

On that first night in Indonesia, I did not run. After a quick consultation with my “creep-o-meter”, I accepted this stranger’s invitation to diner. We found a Mediterranean restaurant and sat at a table in a bright corner.

Although he introduced himself, until today I cannot remember his name. All I remember is that he was in his 30s and teaching Islamic & Religious Studies in a small university town somewhere in Central Java. He was from Jordan and had been living in Indonesia for 8 years, never having gone home once. He owned one of those old flip-phones and did not use any sort of modern digital technologies, social media. Not even an email address. To speak to his family in Jordan, he used a payphone every 3 months or so.

He did not seem like the eccentric type, so I asked him why did choose this particularly lifestyle and he replied “I chose to cut any distractions from the present moment and focus on my path: studying and teaching Islam” he explained. 

“That’s a bit of an unconventional path, there are ways to do that without cutting yourself from the world entirely… don’t you think?” I said, not short from hiding my disbelief.

He laughed, the way someone does when they are used to hearing the same question times and times again.

“The idea of a conventional path does not exist. We are all unique beings and so is our story. Your path is not written, it is created. And if you have the courage to go down the unconventional path, do things that you have never seen others around you do before, it will lead you to an amazing destiny. Trust that God, or the Universe whatever you believe in, is guiding you towards the right direction and everything will figure itself as you do it” 

That night those words resonated like nothing in my life before. I listened with my mouth ajar. I went to Indonesia with the idea that I would figure out my life during the four weeks of my travels. At the time, I felt lost and did not know if I wanted to keep traveling full-time. My parents and my loved ones kept pestering me about my future plans and telling me that “I could not carry on living without a plan” and that I needed “to figure things out“.

That’s when I made the decision to keep traveling, to carry on making a path that was truly mine and to run away from doing “what’s safe” or what society expects me to do or even what I expected myself to do. We kept talking for hours about everything and until today, I had never been so enlightened by a conversation like the one I had with this stranger that night. After we finished our diner, he walked me back to my accommodation and I never saw him ever again. 

But I carried those words with me, precisely writing down bits from our conversation in my journal and looking back to them whenever doubt would submerge me again. 

Eight months later, I think about those words and that encounter as one of the most decisive moments of my travels. I wish I could find him and thank him for having impacted my life in a way I am sure he is unaware of. But I guess that’s also the beauty of this story: the hope that one day our paths may cross again on the other side of the world.

Photo by Alex Krotov

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The largest country in South East Asia, Indonesia is also the largest archipelago in the world with more than 17, 508 islands. It’s very hard to grasp these numbers and even after spending 4 weeks traveling the main spots of the country, I am still blown away by the size and immensity of Indonesia. Beyond Bali, there are so many incredible places in Indonesia that are worth visiting like Yogyakarta. My first few days in Indonesia were spent exploring Yogyakarta, or “Jogja” as it is commonly known by locals, is a city booming with culture, food, architecture and history. Situated on the island of Central Java, Jogja is home to the largest Buddhist temple in the world – Borobodur Temple.

Borobodur Temple was built in the 9th century and is decorated with more than 500 Buddha statues and some 2,672 relief panels made up of thousands of intricate . Long story short: it will absolutely blow your mind. Besides being large and beautiful, the temple has huge spiritual signification for Buddhists. It is a shrine to Buddha and also a sacred site of pilgrimage. The monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of the most important Buddhist temples in South East Asia, alongside Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar.

In November 2019, I had the chance to visit Borobodur at the beginning of my 4 weeks trip in Indonesia. The temple is a couple of hours on the road from Jogja; a taxi or a motorcycle will get you there in about 1h30. Many people choose to visit Borobodur at sunrise, but we opted to go in the afternoon. Either way, I cannot recommend this monument enough. It is impressive in every sense of the terms and does an incredible job at showcasing the wealth of Indonesian culture.Even though it rained during my visit to Borobodur, we still had an amazing time. If you thinking of visiting Indonesia, make sure to add Yogyakarta and Borobodur to your list! You won’t be disappointed.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Most people travel in search of their truest self or a higher purpose but I was just desperately looking for sun. My solo trip started in Xiamen, the capital of Fujian province in the South of China. A southern city, I thought it would be warmer than in Beijing. Boy, was I wrong. Xiamen does not have indoor heating systems (like many cities in the south of china) because the winters aren’t as long as in the north of the country. After spending two amazing, albeit freezing weeks in Xiamen, my quest for a warm weather in the midst of winter would lead me to Taiwan.

On my way to the airport, I did a quick Baidu search and typed in “warmest place in Taiwan right now”: Kaohsiung came up. A city with 25 degree weather at the heart of winter, dark-sand beaches, easy transports and vibrant art scene? I was sold. I arrived at the airport counter and  bought a seat on the next flight to Kaohsiung. Although I had a flight initially booked for Taipei, I just completely changed my plans. Herein lies the joy of solo traveling: you can change your plans without the need to consult anyone else. You are free to do as you please, whenever you want. And I wanted sun, desperately.

Kaohsiung brought me sun, but also laughter, beautiful sceneries and unexpected friendships.

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Tel aviv, Israël

I took a spontaneous trip to Tel-Aviv in January 2020 in order to visit one of my closest friend. I went there not knowing what to expect and what I loved the most about this city, is that its essence seemed to escape me. I am usually pretty good at deciphering what makes a city so special, however Tel-Aviv did not fit in any of the boxes of my brain. The following pictures are a reflection of me trying to make sense of this fantastic and challenging place.

Mallorca, Spain

How to spend a week-end in Mallorca.
A little photo-story to inspire your next trip to this sunny island at the south of Spain. The Iberian peninsula is without a doubt my favorite part of Europe and although I have been making yearly trips in the region since I was 12 years old, I am always surprised at the many gems it has to offer. This was my first time in Palma and I think that for a week-end or a week, this place is enchanting.

Get lost in the old city

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Eat everything in sight

Enjoy the beach

Stay at the Hotel Jaime III

A roadtrip through Ghana

I love road trips, probably because I am always in the passenger seat as I don’t know how to drive. Road trips remind me of childhood memories; crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada every summer to visit relatives in Montréal. Road trips were the only time when it was acceptable to eavesdrops on grown-ups conversations; I would listen to my parents and my uncles recount tales and stories from back home. I never missed a beat. I loved hearing stories about people I had never met, learning about places that I have never been to but which at the present moment provided me with so much joy and entertainment.

It was a familiar feeling of excitement which took over me when we were loading our bags in the car one cool morning of August 2017 in Accra. Myself, my friend Nicole and her family set off for 5 days driving along the Eastern Coast of Ghana. It was my first road trip in an African country and did not know how different it would be from my experience in North America, Europe and East Asia.

Here’s a photodiary of this memorable trip.

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Beijing, China

Happy new year beautiful people/新年快乐,

This is my first post written from Beijing,

I spent the last 5 months of 2017 getting used to my new life here in China. It has been an intense rollercoaster and each day brings surprises (some better than others). I have decided to take this time to settle into a new rhythm and take time off from writing on my blog. I wanted to make sure that whatever I posted here, would be genuine and not written for the sake of it. There is a great deal of things that I have learnt in the last few months that I hope to share with you in due time.

Today though, I thought I would just let pictures speak for themselves as they express quite well my current mood: grateful, powerful and ready to make a remarked entrance into this new year.

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2017 was a just trailer, 2018 will be a movie.

From Beijing with Love,
Bénédicte

Why self-help can’t save you

In 2014, I became interested in personal development: that includes self-help and productivity. I was reading all these articles (such as this one) on influential people earning their success to self-help and productivity methods. I read books on how to improve everything and anything about my life. I watched more inspirational videos than I would like to admit. Within a few months, I had a morning routine, a bedtime routine, five different to-do-lists, a vision board, daily positive affirmations, and took yoga classes. Long story short, I was hooked. I became a productivity and personal development junkie.  This went on for several months and gradually took on a life of its own… to the point that it became burdensome. I grew insanely frustrated at the slow pace of my personal development. I would read all these articles about successful people, whom all had in common “doing yoga 5 times a day” or “writing in their journal at 4am”. Meanwhile, I had a morning routine AND a bedtime routine: why wasn’t I on Forbes 30 Under 30 list yet?! (Or on any such list really). Hence, I decided to add more steps to my routines and write longer to-do-lists. Surely, success would not hide from me much longer.

And then one day, my to-do-list almost killed me.

Fast forward to an afternoon of November 2014. It was the height of essay season at my university. My beloved to-do-list was guiding my steps through the ocean of papers I had to write. As I am running around the library, carrying a dozen books, I received a notification from my WunderList App. I started panicking because I realized that I was severely behind on my to-do-list of the day and my productivity would suffer if I did not increase my pace. So here I am in the library, (literally) running after productivity. When suddenly, I missed a step when walking down a staircase and fell down 20 flights and saw my eyes flash in front of my eyes.

“A fractured ankle. A couple of bruised ribs. 3 weeks in bed and she’ll be okay” the doctor at the hospital said a few hours after my fall.

It was a bit dramatic of me to say that I ‘almost died’, and I don’t think I saw my life flash in front of my eyes either. But I was definitely not okay.  I was hysterical because I had things to do in order to become successful, and not being able to walk was not helping my plans. Once I was able to walk again, I went back to the to-do-lists even more aggressively, trying to make up for time wasted… but I had burned out of positivity. My vision board was no longer a source of motivation but rather an aesthetically-pleasing reminder of everything I was yet to achieve.The positive affirmations, the books, the inspirational talks felt useless. I was not prepared for this. There was no ‘how to keep living when personal development does not work anymore’ blog posts. There was no ‘7 steps recovery program for failing productivity addicts’ either. I soon realized that I was putting too much energy in doing the routines right, but left out the most important thing about productivity (and personal development): YOU DON’T HAVE TO FINISH THE TO-DO-LIST.

I repeat: you do not have to finish the to-do-list. I know this is the opposite of what all these self-help articles say, but then again these same articles write that Steve Jobs, Oprah and Bill Gates all own their success to doing yoga at 5am *roll eyes*. The advices given by these articles can be misleading as they tend to attribute all the success to a set of routines, without acknowledging the hard work behind. The trap of productivity and personal development is making us believe that being productive alone, will get us where we want to be. Productivity is only 10% of the job: 90% is resilience and unwavering belief in the hard work you provide. Even if you ‘fail’ at sustaining routines and finishing to-do-lists everyday, it’s okay because your talents will not go away. Your insights are still valid. Your intelligence is here to stay.

I wanted to share my story (as ridiculous as it is) in the hope that it can help someone in a similar situation. Focusing on personal development is important but it can lead us to fall into certain traps that I think we should all actively avoid:

The ‘death by to-do-list’ trap
For others, self-help has led us to always do the most, to the point where it is counter productive. That’s what I call ‘death by to-do-lists’ which is a trap that many fall into. This was my case and I am still striving for BALANCE every single day. So far, I have not ended up on a hospital because of a list again, so I think I am doing all right. The best advice that I can give you though, is to take it one day at a time and then be done with the day: don’t torture yourself on what more you could’ve done. Tomorrow is another day, that you can look forward to in time. But tonight, we give thanks & we rest.

The ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ trap
I have always dreamt of appearing on ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list: to me it’s one of the highest public acknowledgment of success. I became obsessed with the idea, to the point where I thought what project could get me on this list one day, which was unsustainable. Because what happens once you make it on the list? Or if you don’t make it? Life does not end once you have achieved an intended outcome or reached a goal. That’s where I feel personal development can be a trap, because it’s always by goals ticking and bucket lists etc. which makes us forget how to enjoy the process on the daily. Whether it’s the Forbes 30 under 30 list, or anything else, we should not be attached to the outcome more than we enjoy the process.

The #GOALS trap
We spend a lot of time talking about our dreams and goals, instead of actively working on them. We make it all pretty on vision boards, and tweet so much about it, that it gives us a false sense of completion. However, there is no substitute for hard work. Positive affirmations is here to keep you going mentally or spiritual, but it does not replace the actual sweat, tears and blood that come from putting in the work.

The dependence trap
One of the scariest thing about self-help, is that we can become dependent on seeking help and motivation from books, podcasts, talks, seminars etc. To the point that our own voice is no longer first. It’s good to ask for help, but the whole point of SELF-help, is to be of assistance to oneself, and not completely rely on a personal development guru to guide you. The books, the workshops, the podcasts, the TedTalks etc… these are great resources, but only you have the answer to what is right for you. So don’t kill yourself trying every routines out there or following a million of tips and advices. You can do great just without. 

As I am still trying to find balance in my personal development journey, I cannot tell you what to do, but I can share what I have learnt so far in the hope that we can help each other! 

Thank you for reading and riding with me, 

Bénédicte 

6 ways to live your best life

This summer, I challenge you to live your best life. 

I challenge you to use all the potential that you have in order to create a life you love. Most importantly, I want to encourage you to never let your situation dictate your happiness. Your ‘worst life’ is one that is dictated by your circumstances. It is a life where you are just a passenger. It’s basically the sunken place. With that being said, I want to share with you tips and advice to encourage you to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE!

Learn to enjoy your own company.
There are two things you cannot run away from: death and yourself. Hence, I hope you are a person you would want to spend the rest of your days with. And if not, I hope you become one. How? TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE! Go to the park by yourself with a book, some snacks and a good playlist for at least two hours. Go watch a movie or attend a concert alone. Scared to go to diner on your own? Feel the fear and do it anyway! While it might seem intimidating at first, it is rewarding. For instance, you never depend on anyone to do something fun like traveling! If I want to book a holiday, I don’t have to go through the stress of organizing a group vacation. I’d be damned if I missed out on the opportunity of sipping a cocktail on a beach, just because I am not comfortable being by myself out in public. So if you have been thinking of booking a trip this summer, but your friends are literally trippin’; this is a sign that you should go at it alone and have the time of your life! Living your best life starts with YOU. 

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Take a digital break
I temporarily deactivated most of my social media accounts. Lately, social media made me lose a lot of confidence which I tried to compensate by showcasing a perfect image online. I was living ‘my best life’ in tweet, but not in truth. Spending a few hours each day scrolling down your timeline, looking at pictures of friends and strangers who seem to live their best life 24/7, will demolish you. Social media is 99.1% highlight reel. We all want to share only happy and beautiful moments online, and it’s understandable. But it’s important to look at it with enough distance to understand that these pictures are just moments. They are not a reflection of people’s entire lives. If you compare your situation to someone else’s highlight reel, it’s time you give your digital life a break. Do you spend a lot time online in the hope of making others think that your life is amazing? Imagine how amazing your real life could be, if you dedicated just as much energy to actually living it. Look up from your screen. If you are triggered by certain people, unfollow them, simple. Become intentional about having a timeline which overflows with positivity. Social media is not bad in itself but we have to be mindful of how we use it, and learn to give it a rest regularly.

Invest in your health
Health is wealth. You can’t live your best life without it. There are one million of benefits from leading a healthy lifestyle. For me, they’re all linked to self-confidence. Working out early in the morning, going to the office afterwards, eating my healthy packed lunch honestly make me feel like I have my life together. And that feeling of ‘having my life together’ is priceless! But being healthy does not have to be an expensive or difficult change to your lifestyle either. I hate the gym so instead of paying a membership, I would suggest investing in a fitness mat, some resistance bands, a dumbbell, a skipping rope and a good pair of sneakers. I use an app called 8 Fit and let me tell you, I have tried about a dozen of fitness apps before, but nothing comes close to this one! They offer a variety of personalized exercises for free. When I am not using this app, to get exercises routine, I usually check out my favorite fitness instagram accounts; @annavictoria, @massy.arias and @trainthehardest. I will soon upload a full article on health & fitness loaded with tips and links, so make sure you watch out for this!

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Remain curious
Food has always been a first step towards sparking my interest for foreign cultures. Food is a gateway to civilizations (quote me on this lol). When I don’t have holidays, I make it a priority to discover food from countries I know nothing about. For instance, I pretty much became obsessed with China when I was 14 years old, after trying my first 餃子 (dumpling). Fast forward a few years later, I decided to learn Chinese, visit China and eventually move there. At least once a month, I try to go on a culinary discovery. When I am in Paris, I check out Le Grumeau or Paris Zig Zag ; these two websites specialize in finding the most unexpected restaurants in the city and they cover a wide range of cuisine. When in London, London Cheap Eats is the plug. And last but not least for my New York people, TimeOut New York is always my go to! An important part of living your best life is to remain curious about the world that surrounds you. Food is just one of the many ways that help me out in doing this.

Plan time for your loved ones
An important part of living your best life is to never let your schedule dictate your life, but rather to make time work for yourself. If you are working full-time, I understand how difficult it can be, but will and efforts go a long way! Your schedule cannot be the reason why you do not get to spend quality time with your loved ones. Seek balance between work and those who matter to you. That’s why planning quality time with friends and family is so key. We’ve all been guilty of bumping into a friend, vowing to meet up for a coffee but never actually making it happen. Next time someone asks you to meet up, please do not answer “OMG yesss girl” or “Definitely bro, let’s arrange something”. Instead, pull up your calendar and select a couple of dates+time, so you can give that person options to which you can both agree. Make sure you precise a TIME and a starting location as well. Most importantly, stick to it. Being a flake will prevent you from living your best life. Execute it with as much as purpose as you would for a very important business meeting. Basically, PLAN IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

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Give back.
“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”  John Bunyan
Give some of your time away this summer! Volunteer at a local association. Help a friend to write a cover letter. Tutor a kid for free. Giving back has a positive effect on your own self-esteem, but also on your happiness. Not only do I feel super useful whenever I can help people, but it is a constant reminder that at the end of the day, no man is an island. It also reminds me that living my best life, can also mean helping others to live their best lives. Sharing tips and encourage others to be the best version of themselves, makes me insanely happy. That’s why I decided to start this blog in the first place. I believe that we can all gain from giving back, whether it’s your time or your knowledge. We live in really awful times, where tragedies like Grenfell Tower fire happen too often. Trust me, we all have something to give because there will always be someone in need.

Lastly, on your way to making your best life happen, do not forget to have fun with it! We are all driven, we are all trying to make it but let us not forget that there is a time for everything. Including turning up, relaxing, putting your feet up and let loose a little.

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Thank you for reading and riding with me.
Bénédicte

Pictures by my wonderful friend Julien Sarkar (check him out!) and they were all taken in Seoul, South Korea.