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Chill Out: 5 cafes for serious me time

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Me time is defined as ‘time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others’.

When life’s daily grind is bogging you down and you feel like your life has turned into a chessboard, you know it’s time to press pause on everything and spend some quality time with yourself. We list down 5 cozy cafes in Karachi-Lahore-Islamabad where you can spend some quality time with yourself and let the ambiance and the food hug your heart.

 

T2F (Karachi)

Dimly lit and cozy as a nest of wood pigeons, The Second Floor has carved a niche for itself as a platform for intellectuals, artists and activists through rich cultural activities. With a small café offering on-the-go food, freshly brewed coffee and other titbits at affordable prices and a book corner within its four walls, T2F is the place to be when you are in your hermit mode.

 

Books and Beans (Lahore)

A bookstore and cafe with a vintage spin nestled in the heart of Lahore, Books and Beans is a collaboration between Vanguard Books and The Elbow Room. With a book collection ranging from South Asian History to Mirza’s Ghalib’s poetry to fiction, there a book for everyone who wants to enjoy a cuppa and enjoy some quality alone time.

 

Café Koel (Karachi)

With monsoon right around the corner, we couldn’t think of any other place that looks as beautiful in rainy season as Café Koel. Enjoy good food in silence when it’s pouring while looking at the trees dancing in the rain outside. Almost meditative, if you ask us!

 

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Islamabad)

With cafes both in Islamabad and Lahore, The Coffee and Tea Leaf has entered Pakistan and we are already in love. Whether you just want to enjoy a good book, sort out your emails or plan an event, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a good options to consider. With clean, white and spacious interiors, the place is easy on the eyes and for the mind alike!

 

London Book Shop Café (Islamabad)

Located in Kohsar Market, London Book Shop Café is every book lover-foodie hrybrid’s dream come true. With mmmm-worthy food and a plethora of books to choose from, the book café is a contemporary to a cave, for all those times when you just need to press pause and relax.

 

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

Safest places for solo female travelers

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If you’re a girl-on-the-go whose heels get itchy every 3 – 6 months for some globe-trotting, you’d know just how difficult it is to plan a trip. Weather, cost, visa, convenience are some of the things every traveler has to consider in detail before every trip. However, one factor that bothers most female travelers is the safety of travelling alone and what places are “female-friendly”. We list down 5 travel destinations that are safest for female travelers travelling alone along with a whole lot of fun.

 

Iceland

Iceland ranked #1 on the Global Peace Index, a report released by the Institute for Economics and Peace gauging the peacefulness of regions and countries around the world so obviously it had to be numero uno on our list too. If you’re a nature’s child, this place is the place with you with selfie perfect attractions such as the Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights.

 

Florence, Italy

Also touted as the hub of fashion, food and glamour, Italy has slowly but surely become the glamour capital of Europe. Walking on the cobbled streets of Italy lauded with culture and heritage gives a sense of empowerment and enlightenment at the same time. Florence, mainly known for its architecture (hello terracotta roofs) is an ideal and not to mention safe place for a solo traveler who also is an undercover history, architecture and culture lover.

 

Singapore

If you’re clean freak with hint of OCD, Singapore will be your playland minus the mess obviously. With futuristic buildings, clean and safe environment, this SouthEast Asian beauty is the perfect place for the girl who looks for art in architecture, loves shopping and never says no to delectable cuisines.

 

Montreal, Canada

Tim Hortons, Maple syrup and snowstorms, there are so many reasons Canada pops up on our newsfeed but not many people know that it’s also the safest place for solo female travelers. Experience Europe for less and head to Montreal. With its scenic riverfront Old Port, history museums, an array of restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world and old cobblestone streets leading to 17th-century buildings, Montreal is the European experience when you’re on a budget.

Auckland, New Zealand

Also known as the Land of the Kiwis, New Zealand is one of the most visited places by solo travelers. It is extremely safe, has breathtaking views and plethora of outdoor activities to keep your itchy toes satisfied.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

Life-changing books every woman should read

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You don’t read a book you have a relationship with it and there are some of these relationships that we keep going back to because they teach us something new every time, they inspire us to do better and more importantly, they help us realise our own feelings manifested so brilliantly into one of numerous characters. Here is a list of some of our favourites that we can’t seem to get over!

 

Complete stories by Dorothy Parker

Witty, crass and oh-so-funny, Dorothy Parker is the skeptic we all need in our life to take everything with a grain of salt and double question everything. If you’re looking for some motivation, you need to pick up this book today to embark on this journey of razor-sharp commentary on the ordinary lives of ordinary people. Parker’s beyond brash one-liners and clever rhymes are sure to make you crack up at the extraordinariness of ordinary.

 

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all,” says Gay and we couldn’t agree more. Roxane’s articles on modern feminism are hilarious as she tells all and comes clean about what it’s like to be a feminist who enjoys anti-feminist things such as hip-hop and reality TV. She is honest, she is aware and most importantly Roxane is funny and relatable!

 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

We are assuming most of the female population on this planet has already read this book for the vicarious thrills and escapist kicks this book is loaded with. This mention, however, is for any girl who hasn’t read it yet! Seriously, girl come on! If you’ve lost someone close to you and feel like there will be no end to your plight, you will find that much needed comfort by reading how Gilbert fell to the ground, stood up and turned her life around because remember, you are the heroine of your story!

 

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melodie Beattie

We have all been there. Expected more, loved more, cared more and the list goes on and so does the list of things that left us disappointed. So we found a book filled with no-mess strategies to overcome destructive behavior, dodge drama, and regain control over our lives we say, sign us up sista! Beattie explains why it’s so difficult but so important to love yourself through enlightening anecdotes and hand holds you through the journey to independence, self-fulfillment and eventually happiness.

 

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is the realest a love story can be. The constant ego match between Darcy and Elizabeth is the perfect definition of dislocated attraction, while the external factors and their own internal conflicts constantly tearing them apart coupled with Austen’s social critique will at some point make you go omg same! The book teaches us some important lessons such as that the adage first impression is the last impression should be thrown to the wolves and that sometimes we are so blinded by bias that we fail to see the person infront of us.

 

 

Special mentions:

  • Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
  • A Fiery Heart by Charlotte Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Woman Code by Sophia A Nelson

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