Ending My Model United Nations Career

Dearest readers and my beloved MUNers,

two days ago, after a nearly 5-year-long Model United Nations career, I’ve decided to put a stop to it. While this may not fit an overarching theme of my blog, my blog is a lifestyle platform and considering this was my lifestyle for the most relevant part of my life thus far, I only find it appropriate to share my feelings, both of sadness and gratitude.

Embarking on this journey, I’ve had little to no idea about the world of debate, diplomacy and true international values that I soon discovered I’d already possessed. But it’s little about what I’ve learned (which is a lot-I can go as far as to say that MUN has taught me more than my entire education this far)…It’s more about who I’ve met. And to those of you I’ve met over the years, take this as a heartfelt love letter.

You’ve singlehandedly shaped me into the person I am today. And the person I strive to be. I’ve never met such crazy multitaskers as you guys. I know what it means to run from school to MUN training or MUN prep and back like a crazy person for months just because you’re preparing for those 3 conference days, all alongside upholding excellent grades and doing a million internships. I know most of you have thought yourself academic English in order to be able to do this, which proves the amount of passion and dedication needed to engage in this well-articulated role-play.  Additionally, your true set of international values, or shall I say supranational, has always left me in awe, singlehandedly making me into someone who has no sense of national identity, and I do not mean this in a negative way whatsoever.

While my time as an MUNer has elapsed, mostly due to going to Law School in the US this coming August, I will always continue to identify myself as one. The people I’ve met have always left me more motivated and inspired to work towards my goals, even after those most exhausting days. It is for that reason that I know I’ll hold this experience near and dear to my heart and to all of you who I’ve become friends with over MUN- thank you for making me into someone I am proud to be.

Since there is no ‘next time’, until a more informal occasion somewhere around the world!
Sincerely Yours,
Asja

P. S. Special thanks to my parents and my University for funding my travels so I can pretend to be a diplomat and become an even bigger narcissist 😉

 

 

Aesthetic Eating: The Avocado Show

Dear foodies,

have you heard about the new (and first ever in Europe) avocado restaurant opening up? It’s called The Avocado Show, it’s in Amsterdam and it is vegan heaven.

After eating there, I’ve decided to give you a full review of this fabulous restaurant.
First of all, the place is open 8:30am-5pm, so don’t try to go there for dinner. It’s located in the area around Rijksmuseum, but just enough out of the way from the annoying and overflowing tourist crowds. You won’t have trouble finding the place as it’s window is covered in avocado stickers (goals or what?).

The menu is mostly vegan (or can be made vegan) which i truly appreciated. I ended up opting for a dish called ‘The Avo Rose‘ which is basically a very-well-decorated avocado toast. The hummus was one of the bests I’ve had in my entire life. To accompany my meal, I had an avocado mango ginger smoothie which was nice and thick and undoubtedly delicious.

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The prices are mediocrely normal. For instance, my avo toast was 10 euros, while my smoothie was 4,5 euros. For a fancy, well-advertised instagrammable place in Amsterdam, those are quite normal. However, for what you’re paying, the portions are definitely on the smaller side. Thus, ordering just a main may not be enough for you, which is why I’d definitely recommend ordering a side dish or even sharing an additional main with a friend.

Something I’d have to point out is the spirit of the place- most of the people are vegan and there is a huge avocado love in the air. When I say this, I truly mean it- our waitress had an avocado tattoo on her forearm!!!

From me, this is a definite recommendation and I cannot wait to go back. Also, the fact that this is one of the most instagrammable places I’ve been to makes an Instagram addict like myself even more in love with this place (as if having every dish on the menu an avocado dish wasn’t enough).

I hope you check it out if you’re in the Amsterdam area (or visiting) and let me know what you think.

Until next time!

Stay stylish and ambitious,
Asja
xx

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How To: Vegan and Travelling

To my Globe Trotters:

I’ve been vegan for nearly a year and one of my main concerns when initially deciding to go vegan was whether I can still do it while I’m travelling. Since, I have done my fair share of travelling, thus have decided to share my tips and tricks with you.

What I’ve found to be the most influential factor here is whether I’m travelling with someone who’s vegan (or at least vegetarian), or if the entire group is a group of aggressive meat eaters. If you’re travelling entirely by yourself, you’ll surely have less of a problem.

As I’ve recently travelled with a group of non-vegans/ non-vegetarians, I’ve felt compelled to write about this. This is surely what will happen:
-they won’t be impressed by the new vegan restaurant that has instagrammable aesthetics and decorative dishes
-they will be more fussy about where you’re gonna eat than you ever will be

In this case, I’d suggest you do what you would’ve done either way (or at least I would’ve):

-Pack a bag of almonds (and make it a big one; these are your best friend during travelling- you never know if the airport will have good vegan options- take it from someone who’s almost missed flights due to seeking kale salads and spinach juices)

-Do your research in advance (this is something i’m terrible at, but have found to be extremely helpful; especially so when you’re travelling in groups- as you’re likely to be the only one with the list of restaurants, the chances are you’ll get your way)

-Don’t be a fussy eater… as long as the restaurant has something vegan (or can be made vegan)-settle!

Let me know if you have any more tips on the matter, as I can always use some help from a fellow vegan traveller.

Until next time!
Stay stylish and ambitious,
Asja
xx

Follow me to: Montreal

As I’m currently sitting in at the Keflavik International Airport for my layover from Montreal back home to Amsterdam, I’m going through my Montreal photos and wishing I was still there. Thus, I’m sharing those with you as well as a vlog I shot whilst there. Hope you enjoy and I’ll be back soon!

Stay stylish and ambitious,
Asja
xx

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How To: Solo Travelling

Have you ever not being able to do something purely because you had no-one to accompany you on such an endeavour?

I know I have.

However, I luckily dropped this horrible habit of constantly relying on others. Relying on them to share my goals. My ideas. My plans.

That’s how I became a solo traveller and it is the best thing to has happened to me.
If you’re wondering why you should do it- then maybe this article isn’t for you. But if you’re still with me, I want you think about all those missed travel opportunities you’ve had purely because none of your friends or family members wanted that kind of a holiday. It is entirely normal that people’s ideas of a good time with vary tremendously. The only problem here is that if you don’t decide to step out on your own, you will wake up 70 and wishing you did all those things while you still could. Or at least that’s what I want to avoid.
The reason I so highly praise solo travelling is because it has taught me more than I ever could’ve imagined. It made me rediscover myself, my own comfort levels (which i constantly try to push), people I wish to be surrounded with, and so much more. I have become more confident because of it- more confident in myself. It has made me realize that there is nothing I cannot do or achieve on my own, and that others, who I may or may not invite to my life journey, are merely inspiring companions, instead of being someone I would let my life depend on. Moreover, i realised I only started picking people to accompany me on my travel journeys, as well as life, who truly deserve to be there. Once you see you are fine on your own, you won’t let just anyone in. And that’s a good thing.

I truly hope this will inspire you to travel on your own. I promise you will grow up so much whilst doing so, and most importantly- become the person you really strive to be. You will become unstoppable in every area of your life.

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So, these are my DOs and DONTs if you decide to embark on this journey:

DOs:

bring entertainment

have a safe hotel booked

write about your experiences- it will help you reflect later on

buy additional data- travelling on your own also means getting lost more, and google maps will be your best friend haha

DONTs:

plan- the purpose of this is to be spontaneous

follow one of those touristy tours- you are here to do what you really want to do (if it’s go to a museum- great; but also, don’t feel bad if you want to pick cliff jumping or skydiving over a museum)

Until next time!
Stay stylish and ambitious,

Asja
xx

Dior Promotes Feminism With A 710$ T-shirt ?

Dear readers,

Welcome to the business of fashion.
Breaking news (not so breaking anymore, but as many have been seen sporting this look during PFW, and especially during 3rd March Dior show and particularly the pre-party, this remains relevant):
Dior is encouraging feminism by selling an overpriced piece of cotton.

AG15470Photo: Indigital.tv

Dior debuted a spring/summer collection in late September 2016 Paris Fashion Week  which incorporated a, what has become, the most desired T-shirt of the season (Congrats, Dior. You’ve beat Gucci. Copying their gift-to-blogger strategy has served you well.) While the message they are sending is a powerful one, and the one I agree with profoundly, I have trouble coming to terms with the means used.

How did it come to this? How did Dior start sending out political messages?
It began when Maria Grazia Chiuri took over, making her the first ever female artistic director of Dior. And in the efforts to make her debut strong in a divided world due to political events of the last year (i.e. the Donald Trump presidency- which I now vow never to talk about on my blog), she presented a collection that sent out a powerful message. As mentioned previously, I admire the efforts to do so and could not agree with the message more. The crucial area of disagreement between me and Chiuri is the way she chose to do this.

The famous, or in my view- infamous, T-shirt strutted down the runway paired with the heavily embellished midnight blue tulle skirt and sneakers. This was to become the most Instagrammed moment of the entire show, and possibly the whole of PFW SS17. So what went wrong? In my view, the two key factors: the price-point and the lack of acknowledgment of the person who wrote the book that holds the same title.

This piece of cotton comes at a staggering price of 710$ and is only to be in stores in May 2017. While the proceeds of the shirt are rumored to be going to a charity, the message this T-shirt is supposed to make should not cost. And it should especially not come at that cost. This way, Chiuri proved a misconception about feminism belonging to white upper-class privileged women. I only wish this was taken into account when deciding on the cost of this powerful item that has divided the fashion industry by storm.

The second area of disagreement Chiuri and I have is the lack of spotlight on the woman who wrote a book-length essay titled

We Should All Be Feminists. 

This Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie also gave a fantastic Ted talk on the subject and I highly recommend you watch it .(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc)
While she was seen sitting in the crowds at the Dior show that took place 3 days ago, the majority pursuing this ‘trend’ do not know of her existence. That to me is telling of Dior’s marketing strategies and while there was no breach in terms of Intellectual Property, specifically copyright, there is a moral breach in pursuing such a strategy.

Dior is now making millions just with its new campaign Dio(R)evolution that started out with this T-shirt. Even though the proceeds of the actual shirt are not going to Dior, Dior has used this as a business opportunity to rebrand and generate millions from sales of the collection the T-shirt comes from, rather than send an actual message.
That, my dears, is the reality of the business of fashion.

What’s to happen next? Oh yes, we just wait for Zara to copy. Damn, Zara, your IP legal team must have their hands full…

Until next time!
Stay stylish and ambitious,
Asja
xx

Disclaimer:
All opinions are my own.
This Blogpost does in no way aim to harm the brands mentioned. It is merely expressing views on an emerging trend.

 

Motivation Mondays | How To: Find Motivation and Inspiration Whenever Wherever

Dearest fashion enthusiasts and workaholics,

(Have you been able to relate to those first 5 words? Yes? -Continue reading!)

Welcome to my new series called Motivation Mondays where I will be posting every Monday (duh, self-explanatory) about different topics within the sphere of achieving your goals, improving your career prospects and following your dreams (i hate this phrase, so cliché).

As I stayed up last night until 5am, and this is, unfortunately, not a lonely occasion in my life, I wondered about success and motivation. I am someone who is constantly searching for more motivation and inspiration because I deem those two to be the key ingredients to success, whichever field you’re in or want to go into. Thus, I started evaluating certain periods of my life that, in my own view, were not something I would categorize as successful. What I found to be missing at those stages were motivational and inspirational surroundings. I have realized that being in the right environment is not just helpful, but can singlehandedly influence your achievements.

I, personally, do not have a single environment in which I operate the best, but I do have environments that inspire me, not just for the time being, but beyond. The biggest source of inspiration for me is travel. Not just any travel, but travelling to locations such as London, a vibrant workaholic city that will never fail to give you enough energy to sustain you for a couple of months. And if travel is not something you can afford whenever you feel a little down, or not motivated enough, find an environment that does that, that is still somewhat on budget. Go on an excursion. Find that drive that made you do what you’re doing in the first place. Is it the people? Surround yourself with them. Is it the cause? Remind yourself of it. Is it purely the money? (I don’t judge) Visit an expensive restaurant or a luxury store to remind yourself of what you’re working towards.
The solution is very simple.

B E  Y O U R  O W N  M U S E .

Find your own drive. Evaluate where your motivation stems from and seek it. Surround yourself with people you find inspiring and supportive.

Beat your Monday blues by thinking about where you wanna be and finding the way to get there. The first step is to get motivated and start working.

Eyes on the prize kiddos 😉
Stay stylish and ambitious,
Asja
xx