Lauren and Farrell, the sisters behind Sister Disco, have an ongoing series in which they choose a word and each base a post off that word. Today, they’re bringing One Word, Two Ways to The Indie Chicks with the word ESSENTIAL.
I am four months into a backpacking trip around the world with my boyfriend. What I’ve learned along the ways is that there is nothing truly and utterly essential to traveling. I don’t think there is one essential thing that you have to have besides yourself and an open/loving heart. (Though, I am currently at an ashram in India right now, so this seems kind of cliche.) There have been, however, some amazingly tremendous things I’ve had with me, without which I wouldn’t have found the comforts, directions and peace I have. They are:
1) Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex
This brand is awesome. Don’t trust me? All you have to do is try it and you’ll be hooked. Ever since my sister and I got mini facials at an event with Tata Harper, we have been in love. This nutrient complex is the best thing to carry with you at all times. During planes rides, I apply it religiously and I land feeling like a fresh faced angel. You can find it online here.
2) TOMS Shoes
TOMS are the best all purpose shoes. I love them. They have been through a lot with me and have proven to be perfect for almost all situations.
3) Soapwalla Deodorant
Over the last four months, I have been in sweaty India, sticky Asia, climbing mountains, boiling in the sun, and so much more. Through it all, I have had this wonderful cream under my pits. It is so great that I am asking my sister to bring me some when she meets us on the road (Lauren, please?).
4) Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The story is based off the life of the author, an ex-con who escapes from a maximum security prison and finds solice in Bombay, India. He puts his emotions, experiences and relationships into beautiful flowing words. It is remarkable.
Of course we could have gotten by without the iPhone that we brought. However, it has helped us with on the spot currency exchange, translations, snapping quick picture and impromptu face time with my Mama. It has been a lifesaver.
I’ve lived on New York’s Lower East Side for the past six of my ten years in NYC. Historically home to many waves of working class immigrants who lived in the neighborhood’s tenement buildings, the Lower East Side has more recently become filled with small art galleries, expensive boutiques, trendy bars and restaurants, and good looking guys that skateboard to work. There is no shortage of things to do and experiences to have in just this one area of New York. Pretty much every street has at least a one or two places I’d recommend to a visitor. However, there are few essential stops along the way that disproportionally contribute to my love for living in this neighborhood.
1) 88 Orchard
Despite my best efforts to get into the habit of making coffee at home, I start off most morning with a trip to this light-filled café. I’m also just beginning to kick a pretty long-standing dependency on the chocolate croissants. They are outrageously delicious.
2) Top Hat
Just a few doors down from 88 is this tiny little shop full of thoughtful treasures. It’s difficult to characterize what you might find inside but it is clear that the items were selected with care. I never tire of stopping in, whether to see what’s new or re-marvel at the things that caught my attention the time before.
This is the type of wonderful public market that is few and far between these days. It has small operation grocers, cheese mongers, meat and fish markets, a fresh juice stand, a stall filled with religious candles and other devotional items, a small art gallery and more. It’s a wonderful little microcosm of the neighborhood.
This outdoor fair is held every Saturday during the warmer months of the year. Area restaurants and food trucks sell their cuisine aside tables of awesome jewelry, vintage clothing dealers and the like. It’s always worth a walk through and a bite to eat.
This is the fourth and most recently-opened restaurant in the vicinity by same the owner and I’m obsessed. I was already a longtime fan of the other places. Now this one is so, so close, it’s even harder for me to pass up the fabulous Italian cuisine. Sauce gets it right every time.