Omg, I’m so excited to tell you about Thailand I don’t know where to start.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand reached out to me about their yearly campaign Amazing Thailand Women’s Journey. Every year in August, Thailand celebrates women & tries to make it easier for foreign women (solo or not) to visit Thailand. Every August. women get expedited lines at the airport (‘pink lanes’), free SIM card, deals on taxis, accommodations tours – you name it.

You know me, I love the idea of encouraging women to travel more – it’s very empowering and soul healing for anyone but as a woman who traveled solo a lot and was in some dodgy situations myself, I understand why so many of women are hesitant to take off on their own. And today, I want to tell you that I had nothing to worry about as a woman in Thailand.

This was my second time in Thailand and every time I love it more and more. I never ever felt in danger or disrespected, treated less of a human – you name it. Women in Thailand have a strong position in the society and I really like the gender dynamics there. Since it was supposed to be an all girls trip, I couldn’t take Michael with me (sad face) but instead I took my friend Lisa (who’s also an influencer) and I’m glad I did, because traveling with girls is so much fun in its own way too!

I want to share with you my itinerary so you can get an idea of what 10 days in Thailand can look like. In this post, I will talk about Chiang Mai, in the next ones I will tell you more about Koh Samui and Bangkok.

To be honest, I was never particularly interested in visiting northern Thailand only because I thought of Thailand as the land of beaches and ocean, so why go inland? If it wasn’t for this trip, I would not plan to go there, but boy, I would miss out big time. Chiang Mai was awesome!

Lisa and I got picked up by Tippie, our guide – a sweet lady in her 50s who always couldn’t believe how obsessed we are with taking photos 😃 For the first few days, I stayed at the Acyra hotel, one of the best designed hotel I’ve seen. It was very modern, had a giant outdoor bathtub right in the middle of your suite & a glass pool on the roof (epic photo to follow).

The following day we kicked off our trip with a two hour massage at Oasis Spa – I don’t think I ever had a massage this long but that was only the beginning of my massage overdose on this trip haha. For lunch we were supposed to try the traditional Northern Thai soup called Khao Soi (it’s a curry soup base with rice noodles). Up until that moment, I thought nothing will ever come close to my green curry obsession in my life, but I was wrong. KHAO SOI is THE BEST. Tippie took us to a small local market (hole in a wall kinda place you would never run into as a normal tourist). The soup was only 40 baht (a little over one US dollar) but it changed my life forever (I was devouring the soup at the table looking up restaurants in LA that serve the soup). So so good. If you ever run into a Northern Thai restaurant, do yourself a favor and try it! 😉

After lunch, we went to visit a few temples with my favorite one being the silver temple (no women allowed inside, but that’s okay, because we went to a few other temples later on).

That afternoon, we met up with Acyra Chiang Mai executive chef Phubase Chuprakong who took us shopping to a local market for some ingredients to make dinner with that evening. I saw soooo many fruit and veggies I have never seen in my life! So fun.

After we got back to the hotel, we went upstairs to try some super fancy drinks & I have to say it was one of the best moments in the entire trip. There were 7 of us – Lisa and I, Anita & Ilona (two magazine writers from Canada), Tippy our guide, Apple – a TAT representative & a hotel marketing manager (also a woman) and we were just laughing, sipping super fancy cocktails & having a really fun girls’ time. That night chef Phubase cooked a feast for us, but the best part was of course the green curry. I dare to say it was one of the best green curries I had in my life & chef was kind enough to share the recipe with me (posted all the way at the bottom of this post).

The next day, we moved from Acyra to Anantara & had yet another massage session. The bed was heated & soft as a cloud, I felt very relaxed. Our room at Anantara was huuuuge & I love that they serve Green curry for breakfast haha:-)

In the afternoon we drove out to the footsteps of Doi Suthep visit Naenna Studio. Naenna Studio (http://www.studio-naenna.com/products.html) is ran by an English lady called Patricia who employs women from local tribes to create beautiful sustainable clothing. I’m not so much into fabrics, but I was very inspired to meet someone as visionary as Patricia. The studio uses eco-textile and is totally faire trade – meaning that women get paid well for their work (textile industry is among the most corrupted and exploiting one in the world – think of all major multi-billion dollar clothing companies using sweatshops to make their products). It was very eye opening to see the entire process and realize how much it depends on me (buyer) when it comes to conditions textile workers live and work in.

That evening we had the most wonderful dinner at Villa Mahabhirom (which means ‘a place of great pleasure’ in Thai) – a hotel which is made up with old Thai villas shipped from all over Thailand. Lisa and I loved the design so much, we came back to the villa the following day to take some of these photos.

On our last day in Chiang Mai, we visited Patara Elephant Park. As a huge animal lover, ex vegan and now pescatarian, I always always check on elephants parks to make sure they don’t abuse/torture the animals. I also strongly encourage you to never ride elephants & do your own research about parks you visit. In Patara, I didn’t see any pokers or sticks or chains so to the best of my knowledge, elephants seemed happy, however checking on current reviews of every animal place is so important. If in doubt, it’s always good to look for elephant sanctuaries, not parks.

Just take a look at these beautiful creatures. Best day ever.

And then green curry recipe 😉

150 gr meat
50 gr apple eggplant
20 gr big red chilli
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
100 gr coconut mlik
20 gr chicken stock or veg stock
sweet basil
kaffir lime leaf

green chilli paste
10 N fresh green chilli
1 tsp black pepper seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cummin seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp galangal
1 tsp lemongrass
1 tsp kaffir lime skin
1 tsp coriander root
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs shallot
1 tsp shrimp paste

I can’t even count how many times I have heard about Positano – it’s been all over Instagram for as long as I remember, which usually makes me not want to visit a certain place.

But I wanted to experience the European summer which I missed for years and years. Living in the US with my entire family in Poland, every time I would come to visit Poland in summer every second year or so, I never came down to the Mediterranean because of lack of time or some other excuse – fast forward a few years later and I still barely seen most of the Mediterranean countries and never been to Spain, Portugal or Greece!

I met Anna from What Anna Wears in September last year. I had a small following on my social media back then (only about 20k on IG) but have been following Anna and her travels for over a year at that point. When she announced she’s heading to LA, I just simply DMd her saying she’s welcome to stay at my house if she needs to, because I’ve been admiring her travels for so long and she replied… ‘actually, we don’t have a place to stay so why not!’. We got on well immediately & the rest is history. We would always meet when I came to visit my parents in Warsaw (that’s where Anna lives too), but we wanted to go traveling together too. Anna heard so much about Positano too so we thought why not and started planning our trip in May.

Everything I heard about Positano turned out to be true: the magic in the air, stunning views, friendly Italians. It didn’t seem very crowded despite all the hotels being completely booked out. Positano is tiny and there is only one one-way road that goes from the very top of the hill, all the way down to the beach and then back up. The only way to get there is by car, but then you have to park it for your entire stay as car parks are rare and expensive by the hour (we paid $40 per day and $45 for 5 hrs!).

This was not a sponsored trip – just me, Ania and Michael hanging out together. Michael and I arrived early from our trip to the French Riviera and spent a night in L’Ancora hotel. Beautiful views! Because we didn’t realize how busy Positano is in season, all the places were booked out and we had to keep changing the hotels pretty much every night!

Hotel we stayed with Ania was called Pasitea. Restaurant with the best view was inside the hotel called Albergo California – very reasonable prices (right next to it there is also not a bad restaurant called Bruno). We also enjoyed Cafe Positano (stunning views!) and Chez Black – with heart-shaped pizza right on the beach.

You will see in the photos we also went to Capri for a day (Positano is very small, so after w few days you do feel like going on the water). The ferry costs 40 Euro return and takes 30mins. Capri is stunning and you have to rent a boat to go around the island to check out all the grottos. The prices are per boat, not person and are approx. 100 euro per hour, 150 for 2 or 250 for 4 hours.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions you want me to answer! And if you want to check out Anna’s blog, go to www.whatannawears.com

The French Riviera has a special place in my heart. It was the very first foreign destination I’ve ever visited in my life – I was 14 years old and went on a camp to Cannes for 2 weeks and loved every bit of it.

This time I flew to Nice with my mum after visiting my parents in Poland. It was my first time in Nice and I loved it! We spent the first two days of our trip at Hyatt Regency Nice and went to the old town, had wine & hang at the beach. (The beach is pebble and not so pleasant, but the azur water is the prettiest in the entire French Riviera 🙂

Then, we had a day trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo – I recommend visiting the castle and the famous Monte Carlo casino (dress code is strictly obeyed). The views were spectacular!

We also took a day trip to Saint Tropez, which was my favorite 15 years ago and it was favorite on this trip. Cute little French streets made for perfect IG photos.

Take a look!

This is going to be one of the prettiest blog posts I’ve ever done. Actually, I can spend a lot of pages talking about how beautiful Maldives are, but usually photos do a better job at conveying it.

I was extremely luck to spend a few days at one of the top resorts in Maldives – Hurawalhi Resort which is located about 25 mins North of Male (that’s where the International Airport is).

I flew in late at night from Sri Lanka and since there are no flights to the resort islands after dark, I stayed at a local hotel overnight and headed to Hurawalhi the following morning.

This was super cool, because by the time I got to the resort, it was still very early and I could still have some breakfast and have an early check in (around 11a).

The Hurawalhi island operates on their own ‘island’ time, which is an hour off from standard Maldives time (which moves the sunrise to around 7a and sunset to 7p, which is awesome as otherwise there’d be a 6a sunrise and 6p sunset!).

Hurawalhi has both beach villas (with or without a pool) and ocean villas (same). I stayed at one of their sunrise ocean villas.

First thing I did, well before unpacking, was jumping into the ocean right from the desk. The water was sooo warm, so clean, so refreshing, it was one of these ‘can someone pinch me?’ moments.

After an afternoon of relaxing (aka: working on my YT videos), I met with Nicole, PR manager who showed me around the entire resort and walked me to 5.8 restaurant – the largest all glass underwater restaurant in the world. It’s submerged about 150 feet away from the shore, in the actual ocean. There is no netting or feeding the fish, but they hang out around regardless.

The dinner at 5.8 is an 8 course meal for $280 pp plus additional $90 pp if you’d like to do wine pairing (given that the whole experience of well orchestrated dishes is an art in itself, I now regret not doing the wine pairing – everyone seemed to think it made an amazing dining experience even better).

The following day, we went snorkeling in the morning, sun tanning on our private deck, went paddleboarding and then got a massage at the spa center (the massage rooms have glass floors so you can watch fish while having your back worked on 😉

In the evening, we had private candle lit dinner at the beach, which was just so romantic and the food was delicious – especially that I’m a huge fan of the chef from the buffet restaurant who’s in charge of the beach dinners. His food (and the buffet) was mind blowing – to the point it looks too pretty to eat and Ushan the pastry chef created the most original, delicious desserts I’ve ever seen in any buffet.

The next day, Hurawalhi sent us to their Dream Island – which is exactly what it sounds like. It was such a dream come true to have such a perfect little island only for me and Michael – (what’s super cool is that the staff drops you off, gives you a phone and leaves you on the island for a few hours truly by yourself!). Honestly, these few hours on the Dream Island would make flying across the world worthwhile for me, but that wasn’t the end of my activities for that day.

After an amazing lunch (and I want to pause for a second, because whenever you have all inclusive/buffet style meals at hotels they are usually OKAY, but the Canneli restaurant proved me wrong. This was hands down the best buffet I’ve ever experienced – the presentation was outstanding and the desert section mind blowing! As embarrassing as it sounds – I was really catching myself thinking about the buffet during the day haha!

That day we also got to go on a sunset cruise and saw dolphins, which was just so magical – it reminded me of my sailing days. Honestly, so so so perfect I can’t even find words to describe it.

Beautiful Coron.

First things first.

If this is my only blog post you’ll ever read about the Philippines- I just need to let you know that I love it here.
Listen, I’m the person that have been trying to avoid South East Asia for a long while – it just seemed to be the obvious backpackers choice and I wanted something a little off the beaten path. But the Philippines is different. The Philippines changed me. Let me tell you why.

10 reasons why Philippines is my favorite country and my #1 recommendation for you for 2017.

1. People. They alone would be good enough of a reason (but it does help they live in paradise). They are kind, patient, positive, honest and friendly. I can say that about a lot of countries but Filipinos have been consistently going above and beyond to fix my problems, not just saying ‘sorry you lost your camera’, they made sure to do everything possible to find it. Plus, they have an awesome sense of humor.

2. English is the official language which makes is very easy to communicate. Makes connecting so much easier.

3. Food is absolutely delicious and vegan friendly (and if it isn’t – the above mentioned friendly Philippinos will figure something out for you). It’s like a mix of Thai, Japanese and European food – not very spicy, but fresh and healthy.

4. It’s officially paradise on earth.

5. It’s not very expensive. Average meal in a local restaurant is about $3-$5. Better customer service than in America.

6. You can safety drink tap water in most places and don’t have to be paranoid about brushing teeth or the origins of your ice.

7. Because a lot of beautiful places are not very crowded and some are even completely isolated!

8. The water has 50 shades of blue.

9. It’s so big and diverse you can spend here an entire month and still not see everything.

10. People here respect nature and value it over getting $4 tip. I was constantly reminded not to throw food in the water so that fish don’t get dependent (it is a common practice in other countries to throw bread in the water to attract fish closer to divers for photo opportunities), not to put too much sunscreen on as it stays in the water. There were a lot of ‘do not tip’ signs everywhere and I never ever felt pressured/hinted/asked to tip anyone. It’s so much nicer to leave gratuity without being told so.

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