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Jase Te Patu is a well-known mindfulness and yoga teacher and co-owner of Awhil Yoga and Wellbeing studio in Wellington. You surely do remember him from this article on how to survive short haul flights on our blog. This time we asked Jase for some tips on meditation while travelling. Just to, you know, calm your mind when not everything goes according to the plan or you’re having a very turbulent flight that scares the hell out of you. Quite often we don’t have a proper spacious studio or an empty beach with a gorgeous sunset to meditate as well, so these recommendations are also tailored for even the tiniest Airbnb accommodation.

“Mediation should not be difficult or a chore. Honestly, the intention, truly, is to find some stillness and quiet amongst the busyness that is our daily lives. Each day we’re assaulted with technology, deadlines, pressure, stressors… it’s a lot for our mental wellbeing to process. I’ve been meditating daily for 8 years now and can’t emphasise enough how powerful and impactful it’s been on my life! Like anything, you only get better with practice and 10 minutes a day is a small amount of time to spend on our mental stillness, peacefulness and clarity.

“For me, I like to practice right after waking up, this way it’s done. I’ve set my intention for the day, had a few moments of peace then I’m ready for whatever the day may bring – or at least I now have the tools for the day at my disposal.”

Meditating tips for travellers

If you’re keen to give it a try, we have some of Jase’s tips below – you can use them in flight, at your destination or even at home if you’re aim is to begin a meditation practice:

  • Sit comfortably and know that if you need to move, do it, but mindfully and slowly.
  • I set a timer for 10 minutes and sit up with my eyes closed. There are lots of trains of thoughts about lying down when meditating, but watch that you don’t drift off to sleep. Sitting for me is both comfortable and more sustainable for me to find a sense of ‘relaxed attentiveness.’
  • The approach is always soft when we meditate – meaning a relaxed attitude.
  • I watch my breath and physically feel the breath enter and exit the body whilst noticing my body decompress and relax.
  • The mind will want to meander off, but the breath is such an easy tool to focus on to anchor us back into the moment and the body.
  • This is how I sit until my alarm finishes – I also use an app, 1GiantMind, that I find brilliant and simple to use.

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The post Mindful travels: how to meditate away from home appeared first on theStyleJungle - Lifestyle and Travel Blog.

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Summer, warm breeze from the ocean, scenic route and convertible car. Isn’t it a nice idea? Many people say that every person should own or rent a convertible car at least once in a lifetime. We completely agree with that! That’s why we decided to create this inspirational blog post with some pictures of nice convertible cars, ideas on where to go and even put together a soundtrack for this potential journey.

WHY CONVERTIBLE CAR?

I’m sure a lot of people have a dream to own a convertible car one day. But we all know that cars with foldable roofs are usually not very practical and don’t suit most of the climate zones in the world. Sometimes it’s too hot, sometimes it’s way cold. There is a solution! You can definitely go for a convertible ride for your next holidays!

We have a couple of ideas on where to go if you want to enjoy some of the world’s scenic routes. We included 3 great ideas in New Zealand and 3 other spots around the world if you are in for a bigger adventure. These roads not only offer amazing views but also nice for driving. It means you can borrow your mate’s car or rent one and enjoy this driving experience at its fullest. I bet it will be an adventure of a lifetime! Grab your friend / partner / family member / stranger, turn the music on (check out our playlist below) and let’s go!

During the last couple of years, we had an opportunity to drive several convertible cars including BMW Z4 and Mini Cooper S Convertible. These cars were great to drive and foldable roof definitely gave us a chance to see our beautiful region from another angle. In places like the Bay of Plenty where it’s warm almost all year round, a convertible car is not just a stylish weekend ride, it can definitely be an everyday vehicle that helps to enjoy life a little bit more.

TOP-3 PLACES FOR CONVERTIBLE DRIVES IN NEW ZEALAND MOUNT MAUNGANUI

Stunning views of the famous Mount Maunganui and picturesque beaches make this place one of the best spots for a convertible drive in New Zealand. Drive along the Marine Parade to get some ocean breeze, make a stop to have a swim or enjoy the food at one of the many cool local restaurants. Climb the Mount at the sunset for breathtaking views of the city and surroundings.

Bay of Plenty is our home region so we have lots of videos showing its beauty. Check them out here.

MILFORD SOUND

Mind-blowing views of the Eighth Wonder of the World will look even better in a roofless car. The road from Queenstown to Milford Sound is officially one of the most scenic in the world. Start your trip early in the day and make sure to stop at lookouts along the way before arriving for your Milford Sound Cruise. The road goes through the picturesque Fiordland National Park and has lots of interesting bends, uphill and downhill sections as well as super-long tunnel! This is definitely a must do. The best time for it is between November and April.

Watch our vlog from Milford Sound or read the in-depth guide about Milford Sound Cruise.

NAPIER

If you are looking for some historic inspiration, Napier is the place to go. A car with a foldable roof will give you an opportunity to enjoy beautiful art-deco buildings without even going out of your vehicle. This city has cool retro vibes so consider taking one of the older convertibles. Out of town, there are many places to go as well. Hawke’s Bay is famous for its wine, so checking out some of the wineries is probably a great idea as well. But please be responsible, never drink and drive.

Watch our vlogs about Hawke’s Bay or read our Ultimate Hawke’s Bay Guide

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We are driving from Tauranga to Auckland very early in the morning. Feeling super exciting because not only it’s the first day of our trip up North but it’s also the new BMW 3 Series launch today. Of course, when you can play around with some new toys, you feel extremely excited. Ok, we just need a cuppa coffee and we are ready to go.

BMW 3-SERIES 2019 REVIEW /// FIRST THOUGHTS ON 330i & 320d (G20) /// NEW ZEALAND - YouTube
Watch our detailed video review of the new BMW 3 Series

New cars are parked in front of the BMW Group New Zealand headquarters: both 320d and 330i models in different colours. All cars come standard with M Sport package and look absolutely stunning. The updated design, new sportier shape, bigger grille, narrow headlights and slightly smoked rear lights create a very good-looking combination for this sports sedan. This new G20 is longer than the previous generation for 76mm (which is quite a lot) but it doesn’t look too big because of it. From the first impression, the size and the exterior are absolutely spot on (for my taste at least).

We ask BMW guys about their opinion on what version is going to be the most popular and they say “blue”. So we grab the blue 330i and hit the road. Traffic in Auckland is quite heavy which means more time to explore the features packed in the new 3 Series. The main focus for this car’s marketing is the Intelligent Personal Assistant. This is the system that understands natural speaking and can help you to adjust settings on your navigation, climate control, multimedia and perform many other actions. It’s not a completely new feature (you can find it on the new X5 for example) but it’s the very first time it comes as standard equipment on the 3 Series. Talking about X5, there are many similarities in between these cars: same new version of Live Cockpit Professional, Head-Up Display, Apple Car Play preparation, wireless smartphone charger, USB-C sockets, driver assistance systems and even light carpet and some other features. So it’s fair to say that the new 3 Series has the newest and the most expensive technology packed in a car that can be called one of the entry points to BMW’s model range. Just compare the price: $77,500 is a starting point for the 320d and to get the low spec X5 xDrive30d you have to pay at least $135,200! I know it’s not fair to compare these cars directly – they are too different. But the point is – you get the best of BMW’s tech packed in both cars no matter what the price difference is.

Check out our interactive picture below for some more details on the new BMW 3 Series exterior and interior. Click on pointers to discover extra pictures and notes.

We are almost out of town and crossing the Harbour Bridge. Views from here are fantastic. But today is about what we can see inside the car. And it’s actually quite a lot to explore in here. The quality of the interior is exceptional. Everything feels expensive and very well built. As I already mentioned, all models have the M Sport package as standard so we can enjoy M Leather steering wheel, trim finishers in aluminium tetragon and headliner in anthracite. Another standard feature is electrically-operated sports seats and they are super comfortable doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in traffic or driving on winding roads. With 330i model you get a newly-styled Vernasca leather upholstery as standard which looks really posh. Front seats are heated, but what’s a little bit disappointing is there is no seat ventilation even as an extra option.

Finally we are on some less crowded country roads and here we can check how this car is to drive. There is a lot of dynamic in 330i, it’s fun to drive and adaptive M suspension helps to deal with all the bumps on our way. We go through some straight sections and winding roads with a lot of curves – the new 3 Series is easy to handle in both scenarios. You can feel that there is much more potential in this car and you can go faster, 330i almost make you go to the very limit but then you realise you have to be reasonable with road conditions and speed limits. We are definitely against unsafe driving so we set up the speed limit assist at 90km/h and enjoy the ride.

It’s now time to explore all the intelligent features we have in the new 3 Series. I start with my all-time favourite in any of BMW cars – adaptive cruise control. As you can expect from its name, this system keeps the speed you’ve selected and works together with steering and lane keeping assistant. It also monitors the distance to a car in front and you can adjust this following distance using buttons on the steering wheel. Basically, the car can drive by itself but you still have to keep your hands on the steering wheel because it’s requested by law. Other driving assistant features include lane change and departure warning, front collision warning, rear cross-traffic warning and rear collision prevention. Last two are extremely useful when parking or reversing especially in some difficult conditions. Of course, there is a parking assistant as well to help you with such manoeuvres and a wonderful high-res 360 camera for even more comfort. Another extremely cool thing that migrated from the X5 is reversing assistant. This is the system that remembers last 50 metres you drove and when needed, can automatically do the steering in reverse. There is more on this and all other features in our video that is on top of this page, make sure to check it out.

Successfully parked in front of the restaurant, we are now off for lunch. After a quick break we continue our trip but in another vehicle – it’s now time to test one of 320d’s. This is a diesel model and you can spot the difference in driving dynamics right away. But that’s not a bad thing – it’s still plenty of performance in this engine and you get better fuel economy. In terms of design – there are tiny differences like smaller 18-inch wheels, alcantara seats upholstery, regular brakes and a little bit less advanced driving and parking assistant systems. You can get all of that as options if you want to have this equipment. Our test car has a lot of extra options (almost $12,000 worth) but it all feels quite unnecessary. I mean it’s all very nice but you can definitely live without it if you want to save some money on your car. What I would definitely add though is laser headlights because they are way brighter than a standard LED.

We now have a very short time before we have to get back to the headquarters and give the car back. So we make a stop and check out rear seats. There is plenty of room at the back even for tall people. It’s nice that rear passengers have their own block of climate control so they can adjust the temperature on their own. There are 2 USB-C sockets here and traditional 12V socket so no shortage of charging points. The armrest is quite wide and it is definitely enough space for two passengers to comfortably spend several hours during the road trip. And last but not least – boot. The loading area is reasonably big for a sedan, you can also increase storage space by folding rear seats or folding the segment in the middle to carry longer items like skis or snowboards. It’s totally enough for everyday tasks like groceries shopping.

It’s our first day of the trip up North so we need to return the car and get out of town before traffic builds up. While driving back to BMW’s office, we are trying to sum up our emotions from this day. The new 3 Series is definitely the car I would love to own myself. Why? Its size is perfect: quite compact outside and spacious inside. It’s packed with smart features and extremely fun to drive. It looks modern and sporty. It’s very comfortable which is very important for us as road trips junkies. And for us as a young family, the price is not overwhelming. The new BMW 320d sedan is priced from $77,500 NZD and 330i can be purchased from as much as $89,900. It’s more expensive than the previous generation but you now get a lot of equipment as standard that was optional previously. So it seems like a very fair price for such a great car.

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As you know, in February and March we’re test-driving BMW X3. But if you follow us for some time already, you know it’s far not the first time we get to drive ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ from Germany. In this article, we’re looking back at all BMW cars we ever had a pleasure to get up close and personal with.

During our ongoing friendship with BMW, we had an opportunity to drive almost all cars from its range including i3, 2 Series, M2, 3 Series, M3, 5 Series, 7 Series, X3, X4 and X5. There were 5 cars we spent quite some time with and one car we had a very brief but strong connection with so we couldn’t take it out from this list.


1.    BMW X4 (F26, first generation)

Our love story with BMW started back in 2016, when we took this hot red (or Melbourne Red if you want the official name of this colour) car on a crazy ride to Russia’s biggest music festival Alfa Future People. Stuffing eye-catching car with a bunch of DJ’s and music lovers is apparently a perfect recipe to create that special vibe around the brand you’ll never forget. No matter what were we doing that week – testing its speed limits, getting stuck in traffic jams, losing our way off-road or even sleeping in a car waiting for the most persistent friends to get back from the dancefloor – BMW X4 managed to exceed all expectations. We’ve tested and owned quite a lot of cars since but X4 will forever remain our favourite!

2.    BMW M235i (F22, 2 Series Coupé)

This attractive sports coupé was a perfect partner for all the meetings and gatherings we had in Moscow a week before moving to New Zealand. It’s obviously more compact than X4 but since we didn’t need to drive a group of our friends anymore, we couldn’t ask for more. M235i looks great, is amazing to drive, sounds really good, consumes less petrol compared with actual M2 – exactly what was needed for a young couple. As you probably know, there is no M235i in product line-up now, this model was replaced with M240i which has 13 extra horsepowers.

3.    BMW X4 (G02, second generation)

To be honest, it wasn’t even a proper test-drive. We only had this car for a day, but it felt so special to be back in the X4 and to be the first in New Zealand to test-drive this new model that had only just arrived in the country! You see now, we just couldn’t skip this experience in this article.

4.    BMW X5 (G05, fourth generation)

If this article wasn’t in chronological order, this car and experience, in general, could probably be on top of the list. Because it was super special. To test this car out I was invited to visit the official New Zealand media launch in Australia. It was my first time in this country and it was so amazing to see the car for the first time, participate in workshops, have driving experience on Tasmanian roads and meet a lot of good people. The car itself is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to have it for a longer test here in New Zealand.

5.    BMW X4 (G02, second generation)

Well, hello again, hot red (now called Flamenco Red) babe! Two years later we take the twin of our first BMW to Taranaki for an adventurous weekend. We drove through Forgotten World Highway and explored New Plymouth – all thanks to this beast on four wheels. Two years might not sound like a lot, but God had this car evolved since we met each other back in 2016! It now keeps the lane, holds the distance from the car in front, spots road signs, adjusts speed limit and has lots of other smart features. I kid you not, give Bavarian manufacturers a few more years – and these cars will outsmart us! But at the same time, this car has everything we loved so much in the previous generation – sporty silhouette, seats-so-comfortable-I-can-live-in-this-car, amazing multimedia system, super smooth suspension and it’s so fun to drive.

FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY - NEW ZEALAND THEMED HIGHWAY /// VLOG #20 (2019) - YouTube
6.    BMW X3 (G01, third generation)

As you already know, we now have this beauty parked by our house and in the next six weeks we’re of course going to travel, film and share our opinion on yet unfamiliar to us BMW model. We’ll be updating our diary page, so stay tuned!

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