Best shopping spots in Milano

Hello world !

Okay as you may already know, SHOPPING IN MILAN IS AMAZING. It’s internationally recognized as the world’s most important fashion capital! It’s also the home of MANY of the best luxury, fashion and jewelry boutiques IN THE WORLD. I said it. IN. THE. WORLD. Also, it houses workshops of many of the industry’s biggest names… Pretty cool, right? Well, NOW, let’s talk about shopping. We know how awesome the boutiques are, but where are they ?! Well, my dear Wanderlusters, let me show you.

P.s: There’s a good news: they’re (almost) all in a walking distance from the Duomo cathedral (my favorite place there because of how alive it is. But I’ll get there later)!

1-The Golden Rectangle (Quadrilatero d’Oro) :

Looking for the best Italian designers and most exclusives stores? Then welcome to heaven. This district is a MUST. It’s basically four streets Via Monte Napoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Venezia, forming the geometrical form. The area is considered the district for excellence in terms of the best creations and Italian designers since it is filled by the best and finest of haute couture. Luxurious Italian brands? Yes, please! Even if you might not be interested in the brands, at least take a look at the beautiful stores there: The decorations are outstanding mostly during new year’s eve or Christmas where the decorations are just so pretty!

Just to be sure, I’ll repeat that: THIS PLACE IS A MUST.

  • Following, we have Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle :

From Prada to Ferrari. This little -BEAUTIFUL- the gallery is right beside the Duomo and holds quite a few restaurants, bars, and big brands. To be honest, the gallery itself is worth the trip since it was built in 1877 and its cross-like glass roof is decorated with four large floor mosaics #InstagramIsCallingMyName.

  • Moreover, we have the streets :

The big franchising shops are running throughout Via Torino. There’s everything from Zara, Victoria’s secret to Nike… This will probably satisfy everyone. Need new shoes? You’ll find beautiful Italian and international brands. Need new clothes? Who am I kidding, of course, you’ll find literally every item there. Also, Via Torino is now “in line with the great malls of European cities”, how cool is that?

P.s: if you’re dragging your best friend, boyfriend, friend… I don’t know. As I was just saying if you’re dragging somebody with you, and that said person is NOT interested in shopping, there are many cafes and restaurants where they can kindly wait for you and keep all your bags (Best part: all while enjoying themselves as well, because Italian pastries are AMAZING).

There are also streets such as Corso di Porta Ticinese, San babila, Via Savona and Corso Venezia.

2-Fashion events :

  • Milano Unica: Okay. This is a must-see event for any self-professed fashionista. It’s basically a trade fair of Italian/European clothing and accessories. It’s the best shot you have at admiring the most exclusive designs in the fashion world as well as spotting the upcoming designers.
  • Milan Fashion Week: Yes, I know what you’re going to tell me: who doesn’t know about the Milan fashion week? Right. Well, the quintessential bi-annual event is an unmissable event for all fashion lovers (as well as industry professionals). I guess that it’s just good to remind everyone about how important this event is since you can see the most renowned designers presenting their new collections.
  • Last but not least, if you’re planning a trip to Milan in March, you cannot miss out on The MICAM, the leading footwear exhibition where you can fix your eyes on next year’s collections.

Of course, you will find at pretty much every street one or many shops where you could end up buying real gems (Trust the beautiful shirt and the magnificent dress I bought when I was walking from A to B once).

So, ready to book your flight?

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Books you should read before 2019

Hello World,

Alright. Where should I start? Basically, what makes humans so particular is that our whole life we keep learning and adapting to our environment. Time changes, and so should the way we think. Selfimprovementpersonal growth and just inspiring books in general, allow you to develop so many skills and encourage you to grab fate by the horns and make it bend to your will. I may have quoted something here…

“I will take fate by the throat; it will never bend me completely to its will.”― Ludwig van Beethoven.

(I mean I had to quote this even though it’s from Beethoven -a composer, not an author-. Can you blame me? Pretty sure you can’t. ALRIGHT, MOVING ON!)

Now, why do you need to read these? Well if you ask me, reading is fun IN GENERAL. But, if you flood your brain with positive words and uplifting concepts and just inspiring stories, you’ll start thinking about the choices you make and about ways to make them more efficient or even better. Once you become inspired you’ll start making better choices and take positive actions more often. You’ll understand that you can be whoever you want, do whatever you put your mind into, and experience whatever you’re afraid of.

That is why I decided to share with you today 3 of my personal favorite self-improvement/self-discovery books:

1-The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

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I can officially say, that THIS book had a major impact on my life. Let me explain.

This book is a self-discovery book that explains the *quite essential* wisdom of listening to our hearts. But also, of recognizing opportunities and actually taking them. Following our dreams.

We all have passions and dreams, though we’re scared to follow through, and give up on them quickly. The fear of failure keeps haunting us. Fear is one of our main enemies:  Which is why we need to learn how to stop other people’s fears to be projected onto us and surpass our own. Controlling our fear and loosening its hold on us, is the only way to go on with our lives and living them to the fullest.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”-The Alchemist.

Well, this book changed it all for me. It showed me how important is it to follow my dreams and to just do what I like and want.

Take this blog for example. I’ve been meaning to find a platform where I could write whatever went through my mind for years. I did enjoy that when I used to write stories on @Wattpad, though I wanted more. I wanted to talk about literally any subject but always feared that it would be terrible. Well, I don’t anymore. I like it. And that’s what matters -to me anyways-.

To go straight to the point, Paulo Coelho explains through the allegory of the Alchemist how putting your fears aside and pursuing your dreams can be beneficial. The journey might be full of risks and hardship, indeed, though the experience and what you’ll learn from it, is completely worth it.

2-The End Of Average by Todd Rose.

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I am still currently reading this book, but I can already tell you that it’s officially one of my favorites. I love the way this Essay is written. It’s revealing and makes you understand the roots of the problem with the average and how it all started. So far I am enjoying it so much! (i might update on it at some point…)

What I like about it is that we get to understand the history and the reasoning behind the “average”, and amongst other, how the average influences how we see ourselves but also how our social system has been built around it (schools, tests, clothes, houses, work…).

This reasoning demonstrates how our society has been built for everyone but isn’t serving anyone at all. Instead of focusing on what a person might bring, we tend to “focus on how efficiently the person can do a job that is fitting all and conceived by the calculation of an average”.

The basic premise is that the explosion of data collection in the late 19th century led to the concept of the “an average person”. Although it was useful at that time and in those circumstances, today it does more harm than good.

At the end of the day, the average person doesn’t exist. Nor does any other kind of average. No one ever fitted-nor will ever fit- every criteras to be considered as “average”, and trying to adapt a person to the average makes sure no one fits the mold (which doesn’t benefit anyone).

It is life-changing in the way you see your environment but also yourself. It helps your understands how our system has been built and why the average is considered as normal, but also why nobody fits that category. People keep chasing the above-average when in reality the average itself doesn’t exist.

3-I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

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“I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.”-Malala Yousafzai.

The story of Malala Yousafzai is just so heartbreaking but at the same time inspiring and empowering. At the age of sixteen, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a global symbol of peaceful protest.

The book reminded me of how I take freedom, the right to education amongst many other things for granted.

The book explains how she stood up for girls’ education even when the Taliban took control of her valley, started bombing schools and decreated that girls couldn’t get an education too. Malala refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education, almost costing her her life.

In a context of global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a society that praises sons, of a loving family who kept encouraging a young girl to speak up, Malala only showed courage and tenacity, and for that, I admire her so much.

What do you think of my top 3? Have you read any of them? What do you think about them? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

My vegan month in a meat lover’s country

Hello world,

Okay. Let’s be real here. Us Moroccans, LOVE meat. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me. As you may -or may not- know, I’ve been vegetarian for over a year now. IN MOROCCO. Is it hard? Not at all.

Contrary to popular belief, a well balanced vegan diet does provide all the nutrients we need to function and thrive. Plus, the United Nations has called for a global shift to a vegan diet wherever possible as it is the most effective way to combat climate change, world hunger, and ecological devastation (and animal suffering).

I do have a pretty busy schedule with school and my -multiple- activities ( i like keeping myself occupied ), though, I have no problem eating outside as a vegetarian. Although I have to admit I get pretty weird stares when I ask for meatless sauces (Shoutout to every person who judged me when I asked for a bolognese pasta with no meat), I learned how to live with it…I’d love to tell you more about how being vegetarian is in here, but maybe in another post (#Preview). Right now let’s get to the bottom of the *interesting* topic. Breaking it down, I’ve heard so many times that it is impossible to be vegetarian/vegan in Morocco because it is “Way too hard”. I proved everyone wrong by going vegetarian for more than a year now and decided to conduct my own little experiment. I became vegan for an entire month to see how difficult it could be.

Disclaimer: Every vegan in Morocco, I ADMIRE you so much.

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To be honest, meals weren’t that big of a problem for me. Avoiding cheese was challenging at first, but I had my tofu and nutritional yeast (couldn’t find any vegan cheese), but it was nothing compared to butter (IT’S EVERYWHERE !). The important thing to know is that you have to be aware of what you eat and know how to order. Thing is that it was pretty hard since I had to eat out pretty much every day because of school… So if you want to go vegan and not eat the same thing every day, you have to meal prep. Go grocery shopping way ahead, and make big batches of whatever you like (vegan bars, cookies, muffins, pancakes…). It might take you up to 1 or 2 hours per week but it’s honestly doable. If you know how to manage your time well, trust me: it won’t be a problem. As a matter of fact, it’s way healthier since you know what’s in your food and can control what’s in it (note that it is useful if you have a nutrient deficiency).

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Also, many of my friends pointed out that going vegan is expensive, and the answer is: YES and NO. It’s not expensive if you stick to the basics, but it is true that is is a lot cheaper to be vegan elsewhere. For the fruits, legumes, and veggies, I guess that no one will have a problem with that. Though it is true that the kinds of non-dairy milk and syrups and stuff are a lot more expensive here, I still believe that you can find a way to eat a healthy vegan diet here that won’t cost a fortune.

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Now back to my personal experience, I only encountered one problem: desserts. I needed quick and easy ones to pick up so I had to batch make them during the weekend. Pros: It was delicious and healthy-ish. Cons: I couldn’t have whatever I wanted because I obviously didn’t have time to make them and I didn’t find anyone who sells vegan pastries. I did find some alternative such as Oreos aka my savior and beloved delicacy. There’s also toasts with nut better that I use normally as snacks but that made good desserts.

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Now to understand this part, you need to know one more thing: I live for ice cream. Scratch that. I live for chocolate. Anyways, the point is that the weather was pretty good this month which was NOT helpful at all. That means that I REALLY wanted ice cream (Froyo to be exact). The struggle of seeing everyone having them while I was just watching was torture. I couldn’t find ANY type of vegan ice cream and had to make my own UNTIL I found (on my last week -OBVIOUSLY-) a place selling vegan chocolate sorbet near my place #MyLuck. Complaints aside, since I couldn’t find any plain vegan yogurt I had to make *drum rolls please*  NICE CREAM. Yup, nice cream. Vegan healthy ice cream. Basically frozen bananas and whatever topping you want, -my favorite is peanut butter-. I would totally recommend it to replace your ice creams buuuuuut I still want froyo right now. In fact, that’s all I can think about while typing right now. (Ps. Don’t get me started on the struggle when all your friends eat waffles in front of you at school (THANK YOU, PEOPLE. SO MUCH.).

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Jokes aside and to conclude: Overall I really enjoyed the experience. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and definitely gave me a glimpse at the life of the Moroccan vegans out there ( not many but cheers for your courage guys ! And thank you for saving our adorable animals and our magnificent planet ). If I learned anything from this, it is that you can always find vegan alternatives -it really isn’t hard-. I believe that knowing that you are not causing or encouraging any death of suffering is so rewarding because, at the end of the day, you feel good about yourself. So if you are not interested in becoming vegan whatsoever, I would still encourage you to do the #MeatlessMondays: “Cut out meat, one day a week for your health and the health of the planet!”.

As for me, I will definitely stay vegetarian, but keep my meals as vegan as I can. I’ll only get dairy for emergencies (DESSERT EMERGENCIES). But, I’d love to know, are you a vegan/ vegetarian? If yes, do you find it challenging? #ShareYourJourney in the comment section!

TOP 5 of my favorite cities in Morocco

Hello world !

Yes, this is my first post. I’m so excited ! Anywaaaays ! Let’s talk about travels. As you might know -If you follow my instagram @zeewanderluster – (#SelfPromo).I LOVE TRAVELLING. Also , as a moroccan, i couldn’t see myself talking about amazing travel destinations without talking about an amazing one -also the one i’ve spent my whole life in- : Morocco.

To be completely honest making a list of my favorite places was pretty hard. Although i love so many and each one of them has its own features , i did manage to “rank” them. So here is my TOP 5 of the best cities i’ve visited in Morocco.

In addition to the stunning and amazing culture , Morocco has so much to offer. Every city i’m mentioning has super interesting monuments and background stories that you should totally check out !

1- Marrakech

Obviously. The first city that comes through your mind when you think about Morocco is axiomatically this one.

Pictures of “Jemaa el-Fna – Marrakech” by ZdaydreamerZ

As you might know, there’s a lot to do and see in Marrakech. You might want to go to the the central square of Jemaa El-Fna and enjoy the “halqa”, which is a non-stop street theatre that starts approximately during mid-morning .Although its becomes more interesting after sunset.

But honestly , all you need are the famous bustling souks and bazaars where you can find quite the deals.

2-Chefchaouen

Okay, hold on. THIS is the Blue pearl of Morocco. If you want any breathtaking view with -let’s be honest- a beautiful color, the Rif Mountains are exactly what you’re looking for ! Chefchaouen is a small town with an incredibly stunning landscape.

The town’s famous blue and white painted houses taken by Zeewanderluster.

Also , if you’re a fan of hiking , you’ll be glad to know that it is one of its highlights!

Moreover , you can have a drink  at one of the small cafes at Ras el Ma and enjoy the magnificent view.

This place is honestly worth a look at. It is a magnificent place and i’m sure you’ll love the atmosphere. (Also did i mention the adorable shops ?!) YES ! There is MANY little shops where you can buy jewelry and handmade souvenirs. Grab your wallets because they are BEAUTIFUL.

Chefchaouen looks literally like a painting coming to life. Dear travelers , don’t miss it !

*P.S : I did buy a bucket of blue paint. And no i don’t know how to paint correctly but hey , It’s never too late to learn !

3-Fes

Aaah Fès ! This historical city was Morocco’s capital for more than 400 years. Today , it’s an important religious and cultural center.

Pictures by ZdaydreamerZ

The city is most known for its Chouwara tanneries. It’s where you can see the world-class , natural process of leather production that hasn’t quite changed since medieval times. Fes has so much to offer and the landscapes and breathtaking.

I only have one tip to give you : Dive in. It has many treasures waiting for you. (You’ll also take awesome #InstagramWorthy pics). I won’t say more.

4-Dakhla

This city is mostly known for the  kitesurf competitions , and beaches. You’ll find many surfers ( windsurfers , kitesurfers…) in here and incredible hotels .Though , i would recommend the ones outside of the city.The view is even better and it’s closer to the best surfing spots.

Also fans of seafood , you won’t find better than here (Yes i am vegetarian , but i’ve heard many people compliment it) .

Moreover, the temperature is pretty much the same the whole year. If you need to get away from the terrible cold of december , a trip to the beautiful sunshine of Dakhla will be the perfect destination. (Done it and recommend it).

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Incredible views guaranteed and a summerish temperature the whole year ? YES PLEASE. Do i even need to say more?

5-Rabat

My city. I had to put it in this top 5. Let me tell you that we have AMAZING street art. Basically there’s an art competition every year or so. And the people that take part are SO TALENTED ! They make regular buildings look waaay cooler and modern that they did before ! If you come visit here don’t forget to check them out !

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Picture from Jidar’s official website.

Picture taken by Zeewanderluster.

That aside, Rabat has really great beaches where you can surf or just swim. And when there’s a beach there’s always a great view , and monuments !

Finally , i hope you liked this article and hope that it was useful ! Morocco is such a wonderful country and totally worth visiting !

Have you ever been to one of these cities or do you plan on visiting one of them ? Let me know in the comment section !