Have you ever experienced deja vu? Felt undeniably connected to a place? Were completely and utterly at home even though it's your 'first' time somewhere? Have you ever been lost and safe at the same time? What about disconnected from the outside world, yet more connected internally than ever?
My trip to Latvia brought all of these experiences and more.
|Aya & Isis|
I booked a flight to Riga with a single purpose- to visit my soul sister, Aya and her tiny five month old crystal child, Isis. Little did I know, that I was actually embarking on a journey back to my own childhood and the delicious memories within it.
It is the land of my mother tongue, it is the land of Anastasia (or how I would imagine it to look) and it is the place where I lived for 1.5 years from when I was exactly the same age as Isis is now. Since Latvia was part of the Soviet Union in the 80s and my dad's military base was stationed there, he brought me and mum over from the Far East of Russia to be near him.
I can't say that I remembered anything in particular returning 27 years later, but I know that I remembered a lot.
An obvious reminder was of the reason for which I travel. To me, travel is the only thing you can buy, which makes you truly rich. Instantly, another reminder came of how deeply grateful I am to my parents for moving around and showing me the world, showing me that home is not on a chunk of land, but within yourself.
|Deliberating on who's ride is more awesome.|
|Exploring Riga's old town.|
|Harvesting organic apples for Aya's Pura Vida raw food bread range.|
|Aaaand THIS is where we stayed! Aya's wooden hut is in Mersrags, a 1.5 hr drive from Riga.|
|Beach on one side of Aya's hut, while the woods are on the other. Paradise? I think YES.|
|Pura Vida bread on tap!|
There's so much more I want to share with you about my Latvian experience- did you know that Riga has not one but two Raw Food restaurants? We've visited both! We've shopped at the local markets, went wild foraging, [nearly] went swimming in the freeeezing Baltic ocean, collected spring water, ate a bucket full of organic berries picked straight from the bush, stood on our heads in the forrest and rejuvenated all of our cells with every breath of the most crispy clean air...
So much more to share in fact, that I am going to continue this story in another post and include a review of the raw restaurants too! For now I want to leave you with a be-you-tiful recipe, which you will simply lurve, as it was a mushroom foraging result, which I came up with for the chillier season...
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
(As seen in Nourished- Comforting Raw Foods for Winter)
3 cups almond milk
2 cups shiitake mushrooms (about 150g)
3 stalks celery
juice of 1 lemon
½ red onion
3 garlic cloves
1½ tbsp liquid aminos
Leave a couple of shiitake mushrooms for garnish if you like and transfer the rest along with all other ingredients to a blender.
Blend on high, until the soup begins to warm up.
Serve straight after blending or add boiling water to the soup to warm it up at a later stage.
Enjoy with Tanya’s Onion Bread (pg. 26 of Nourished), Crunchy Croutons (pg. 32 of Nourished) or any of Pura Vida's ready made raw food breads.
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