Her. Me. Us.

Aiyana.

Math Teacher. Sister. Aunt. Friend. American Expat. Photographer. Voracious Reader. Recovering Accountant. Music Lover. Persistent Traveler. Nomad. Cheesy Joke Teller. Belly Laugher.

unnamed-1I love traveling and trying new things, but when it comes to my beauty routine, I’m one of the laziest people out there, I don’t even know how to blow dry my own hair.  My spa habits started with massage. After several injuries, I found that massage was one of the only ways to keep myself active. Ultimately, massage was my gateway drug. Next came pedicures and manicures, saunas, scrubs, and finally hammams. Combining my addiction with traveling makes it even more exciting. Are Thai massages better in Thailand? How do different places do hammams? Have I found the best spa in town, or is there a better one around the corner?

To me the best trips are a combination: Trekking and jungle huts followed by a full spa day and 5 star hotel. Or traveling the streets of Thailand and getting 3 Thai foot massages at different places in a single day after walking about 30 million km to see all of the Buddhas. Spa experiences are an often overlooked reflection of culture, and an imaginative addition to any traveling experience. Think about all those hours that you spend walking, days of 20-30,000 steps when you usually max out at 6000…treat your feet, and your soul!

Christine.

Quirky. Full of Laughter. Awesome Momma. Loyal Friend. Burlesque Connoisseur. Dedicated to Biking. Writer of Letters. Home Cook and Kitchen Store Junkie. Daydreamer. List Maker. Dance Enthusiast.

525469_364517703642667_1252337441_nAlthough I am not a goo-queen, as my wtf hair and uneven face tone will testify, I am a sucker for a treatment. Having my body scrubbed, emerging from a facial that has me glowing and looking as if my skin were in its 30s, having my feet renewed and my toes polished, giving myself over to massage are just a few of the treatments in which I indulge. My first massage was gifted to me as a high school graduation present by my mother. There was no turning back! From there my experience grew to hammams, facials, wraps, saunas… I want to explore and do it all!

 

Therefore I make it my goal to have a treatment, an experience, in each place I visit. I try to make it as authentic as possible: a family-run Tunisian hammam or a banya in Russia where vodka is being drunk or hot springs in the woods of California with the local hippies and nudists. Not only is this good for the soul, but allows the traveler, to pause in the exciting adventures in order to breath, relax and renew. Emerging radiant and ready for the next segment of the journey.

Us.

We worked at the same school in Doha, Qatar, and had several mutual friends even though we were there at different times. When Aiyana accepted a job in The Netherlands at the same school as Christine, the great ball of friendship began to roll down a hill of inevitability. Over Autumn break, we both needed to relax, and we talked about getting pedicures or massages, but then the word “hammam” was uttered. Having lived in the Middle East, the hammam experience was a luxury that we both missed, and that neither of us thought we would ever find in our adopted hometown, let alone someone to share it with. We wanted the massage and the scrub; we needed the massage and the scrub. Astoundingly, we discovered a hammam a mere five minutes away and on a cold and dark day, we found ourselves sitting in the steam room, laughing, relaxing, sharing stories, and detoxifying, when an idea was born. This idea.