Hong Kong by Nina Faulhaber

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Warning: I'm a first time visitor, not a resident, and not a fixer (= local producers for videoshoot crews, people who are "in the know", learnt this word this week on our Asia travel video shoot with Cathay Pacific + Furthermore (Equinox) :-)

VEGGIE / VEGAN FOOD
Mana Slow Foods
Grassroots Pantry
Pressed Juicery

WORKOUT
Bowen Road (8k running route with beautiful views over the city)

GALLERIES
Lightspace (minimal hip gallery by the one and only Kalina King - available to rent, too)

COFFEE SHOPS
Corridor
Peel Street Espresso Bar
Cupping Room (wifi)
Common Ground (wifi!)

DRINKS
Duddell's 3rd floor (afternoon hang)
Sevva (sunset)
Ping Pong (night)

BOUTIQUES
Grana Fit Room
Love Brunch
IT

AREAS
Sheung Wan
Soho
Tin Hau
Causeway Bay (didn't love that)
Take the ferry over to Kowloon

HOTELS
Upper House
Tuve Hotel
Mandarin Oriental

HIKES
(yet to do these:)
Victoria Peak
Dragon's Back
The Twins

The new kind of minimalism that magically frees up time by Nina Faulhaber

Im subscribing to a new kind of minimalism: One thats fun and focused on creating more time and space, to use it for stuff that’s really important.

One of the things that inspired this was MARIE KONDO'S MINIMALISM THAT SPARKS JOY. For those who haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo advocates a rigorous method of getting rid of all the clutter we store in boxes, wardrobes, shelves and basements. Her methodic approach leaves you with a minimal selection of all those items you actually love, in a delightful and easily retrievable order. Clutter removed, your heart is filled with joy and your mind can think freely. Reading the book put into words for me what I had intuitively been working on. Splitting time between London and the US throughout 2014/15 without yet having a home in the US, taught us how to live out of suitcases. I found that I didn’t really need much of the stuff I had left in my wardrobe in London even after all the stuff I had given away over the past few years. At ADAY, weve put a huge focus on creating staples that work in any situation, so you dont need a ton of stuff.

We don’t want to clutter our spaces to free our mind, so equally we then don’t want to clutter our mind. A book thats influenced me here was The Organized Mind by neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin which taught me that we are actually hopelessly bad in multitasking and instead ought to pay our fully focused attention. It also encourages outsourcing a lot of decision for better focus on what’s really important. Now I try to think less and more effectively, it’s a journey I’m telling you. The book also inspired me to apply the OBAMA APPROACH TO DRESSING, and for four weeks I rotated a total of 5-6 garments. The author - like our friend Stacy Tarver who ran the 'wearing the same thing every day' experiment during her MBA at Columbia - advocates that wearing the same thing every day is a recipe of successful people to eliminate the stressful morning decision ‘what to wear’, leaving space in your head for more interesting decisions. Whilst granted I will never fully adopt the method because I love more than 5-6 pieces in my wardrobe (and I don’t find the decision that stressful), it did give me an extra 20 minutes every morning. This has been wonderful because I find time is the most valuable resource.

In 2015 Ive done a couple of other habit tweaks reinforcing this minimalism: I’ve deleted Facebook from my phone (huge time saver), I've become pescetarian (easily halves every menu), I kicked #fomo out of my life, I started to (irregularly) journal, and I have a majorly improved my (still imperfect) meditation habits.

Now I finally feel like I have headspace. To start the year I want to keep things minimal, and work on reinforcing the new habits I started creating. The one thing I will focus on, it is to dedicate this newly won headspace and time to add positively to the life of others.

 

Books I loved this year by Nina Faulhaber

Love when people share their reading lists with me (please share!), so sharing a few books that had the biggest impact on me this year in case you're looking for new learning materials. They're no secrets but in case you have missed them, I found these genuinely added something to my life

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. I read this at 27, finally. One thing I know: I will give it my children to read when they're 7. Or earlier :) The story of Santiago, the shepard experiencing the interconnectedness of the world whilst pursuing his personal legend learn is mindblowingly beautiful.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I (finally) read it. This was around the same time when I was living out of a suitcase for numerous weeks this summer, as we moved ADAY from London to NYC. It had a profound impact on me because it was so in line with a view on life / style of living I had been adopting more and more: I wanted to take out the complexity. Buy less stuff, own less, travel light, create headspace. All this allows to focus on what's really important.

Thinking Fast Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahnemann. The human brain is fascinating. This is a great analysis on how we think, human (ir)rationality and happiness. Ok admitting I'm not fully through this (it has like 4 inch width) but since I read it I've done a lot more reading on the brain, flow states and meditation and it's proven to be an excellent basis for all this.

From the road: Running the Volcanoes IN SICILY by Nina Faulhaber

That's what we love Europe for: The Friday evening flight to some stunning place in another country, different culture, different scenery, different pollution levels. 

Hand luggage, working from wherever, AirBnB’ing out the place at home, my ADAY trackpants, not telling anyone anything new here - we're generation Y, right.

I love Europe weekends as a way to reconnect with my ideas and refocus on the bigger picture. I’m normally still tuned into everything that’s happening – when what you do, who you are and how you live are pretty much the same, the concept of “switching off” doesn’t exist, and better, it doesn’t need to exist

Here's what kept me fit in Sicily

ninafaulhaber-sicily

1. Walking. Literally. We stayed in Castel di Tusa in the Atelier Sul del Mare – recommending to anyone who wants a different experience. The stony beaches on the East Coast call for walks and we started Saturday with an hour long walk that shapes your bum better than your power plate. 

2. Climb the rocks. Sicily has tons of mountains and hills and in many places the beaches have beautiful rock formations. Climb them, own them. Keep your hands free (leave phone at home) and play monkey. 

3. Hiking the volcanoes. the Sicilian version of the Runyon Canyon. We spent the second night on the tiny Aeolian island Vulcano - what a hidden undiscovered gem. A peaceful oasis a few hours ferry ride away from main Sicily, with nothing on it but a crater, black beaches, a green rich fauna and a few pretty hotels and houses. It reminded me a lot of the Costa Rican coast (beaches) – and Koh Samui (little streets). The volcano hike is breathtaking. Imagine Runyon Canyon without [celebrity name], the crowd, the Hollywood sign but instead beautiful black volcano sand, a breathtaking view over the Atlantic ocean and dried lava rivers. We hit the volcano totally unplanned at about 8:30am after our morning run through the beautiful greeneries of the town before breakfast. We saw two hikers from afar in front of us and a group coming after us - otherwise a stunning emptiness and silence whilst we were half jogging half hiking our way up in running gear and with nothing but our phones. Go early in the morning, I can’t imagine how beautiful sunrise would be. The hike is not difficult, though would wear black shoes and not carry much as you may want to use your hands sometimes (e.g. to get to the goodpicture spots). I burnt about as much as in my usual hour of Shoreditch House gym on Sunday but got more tan. Go early in the morning for silence and emptiness. 

4. Breakfast buffet. Our hotel Therasia Resort had the most stunning breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen where every single dish was sourced locally and made in hote’s basement, including honey, pistachio cream, bread and fresh yogurt. And 8 different kind of milks. Definitely ahead of your Shoreditch or Brooklyn coffee shop!  

5. Other learnings. I finally learnt how to peel prawns without fingers: 1) Softly cut off the head where the brown starts, believe me softly 2) Take the prawn sideways, head opening to the left and stick in two x of your fork. Hold knife against the prawn's body and peel back the body peel. 4) Softly pull and cut the meat out of the tail with your knife. Done.

Weekend read was: Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan. 

With love,
Nina

OH HEY THERE :) by Nina Faulhaber

ninafaulhaber-airport

When I was young, I was an athlete, competing in Gymnastics on state level, and I also tried every sport I could think of from horseback riding to rugby. 

But then as a grown up non-athlete quote-on-quote “career woman” I found it so hard to keep up with my active habits. This was because I’m a pretty stereotypical 87-born nomadic millennial: I started my life in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs in London accumulating airmiles on sleepless flights between London, New York, Frankfurt and Istanbul – then left to pursue my dreams in the Digital world. 

Now I’m traveling on aforementioned airmiles and bedsetting between AirBnBs and friends’ couches, launching a brand in NYC from London with manufacturing in Portugal, LA and elsewhere. And somewhere long before this along my way I have realized that being active and working out has always been my primary source of energy. So I made it my mission to constantly find ways to bake it into my life wherever whenever.