Two questions for you: HOW is it September already? And HOW has it been an entire year since I had the best solo trip overseas to meet two of my favourite YouTubers?
I have the Facebook’s ‘memories’ app to thank for this reminder – and every photo it’s shown me has brought a smile to my face. I’d been following Steve and Dave on YouTube for over a year by the time I got to meet them at their book launch in London. They are exactly what you see on camera: a couple of joyful, hyperactive identical twins (arriving to their food demo via walking handstands…) with a big love for healthy eating. When, in conversation, they said I should come on over to Ireland to film a collab, I don’t know if they expected me to take them up on it. But I was definitely going to make that happen.
For me, this became a highlight of the whole year. I expected to do some filming (including our first major Facebook live stream), taste some vegan food, and spend the rest of my time exploring solo. Here’s what actually happened:
Steve and Dave and their team totally took me under their wing – that meant tours of the shop/café/HQ/kitchens and all the secret places they’re developing the Next Best Thing in veggie and vegan eating. Everybody was so friendly, people even said hi to each-other in the street. I definitely wasn’t in London anymore.
I ate well. And I mean exceptionally well. The freshest fruit and veg, smoothies in every flavour, overnight oats with coconut yoghurt, belly-warming curry bowls, and avocados for days. It was the absolute dream.
I ran up a freaking mountain (Ok, a VERY big hill) called The Sugar Loaf. At sunrise, no less, with Steve and his buddy Mango. This is not out of the ordinary for these guys. It wasn’t easy (not least because I was lugging along my Sony A7s and a heavy 24-105mm lens) but I captured some of my favourite shots to date.
As if that wasn’t enough for one morning, I then joined Dave for their daily (yes, daily) dip in the Irish sea. I can’t believe they will have done this 365 times more by now – that makes me incredibly jealous. Being ‘in touch with nature’ is something most of us can’t say seriously, but it’s something really beautiful.
I stayed in an Air BnB with a marine biologist, who had a mini aquarium next to her kitchen. She said I could pet the starfish (I didn’t, but still). Her house was right on the seafront, which meant I could go out at early doors and catch the morning light.
I ticked a MAJOR thing off my ‘ladder list’ just by travelling solo again and enjoying every second of it.
Vegan or not, I urge you to check out The Happy Pear – ideally visit in Ireland if you can, to experience it in all its foodie joy. You can follow their sunrise adventures on Snapchat or Instagram, and their recipes via YouTube.