All posts by Lelde Benke

Boost Your Immune System The Latvian Way

girl enjoys cold water dipping in latvia

I believe in Western medicine! I also believe that what we eat and how we live has a direct effect on our health and wellbeing. When we start to see less of the Sun I, like many Latvians, resort to eating copious amounts of garlic, honey and ginger, and engaging in several health-enhancing activities to […]

Moving To Latvia From France Via India: Victor’s Story

victor antoni latvia

Have you heard the saying mazā Latvija (Little Latvia)? Well, it’s no myth. Everyone is within reach of each other. Paths cross. Bubbles collide. Victor messaged me after reading “Things of Riga I’ll miss when they’re gone”. He recognised himself in one of the photos. We’d just passed each other on the street one day. […]

Things Of Riga I’ll Miss When They’re Gone

Trains in Riga

I’m hypersensitive on a good day, so this past year of the unknown has spiralled me into a porcelain doll state of fragility. Fortunately, that also translates into a heightened awareness of my immediate surroundings, the beauty in the small stuff and imperfection. Having criss-crossed Riga on foot, by bike and car, I paid more […]

My One Year, No New Clothes Experiment

pile of clothes

2020 was the year I finally spent 365 days without spending a cent on new clothes. Unless you count fabric face coverings. Admittedly, I couldn’t have picked an easier year but it was actually my third attempt. Why did I decide to do it and what do I feel like I gained? Why I Decided […]

Volunteering In Riga: Why And Where Do People Do It?

group of volunteers

In a world so focused on earning, buying and consuming, I find solace in one particular transaction that doesn’t involve money. An exchange in which the currency is time and effort. Voluntary work. I reached out to volunteers on Facebook to find out what drives people to help others and certain causes. In short – […]

How To Embrace Life In Latvia And Reframe The Negative Thoughts

love life in latvia

It struck me just a few months ago that I finally felt really settled in Riga. When I say finally, I mean seven years after moving back from my stint abroad to study and get my first work experience. This sense of calm and contentedness took me by surprise just like the pangs of homesickness […]

Readers’ Choice: 13 Best Places To Buy Fresh Bread In Riga

fresh bread in riga

As more and more of us begin to pay attention to what we put into our bodies, smart-thinking entrepreneurs have been quick to respond. A new wave of bakeries is promoting healthy, natural bread made from the heart using hand-picked ingredients. Their loaves come packed with seeds, brimming with beetroot or wheat-free and are more […]

20 Real Reasons People Love To Live In Riga

love to live in riga

What are you grateful for about living in Riga? While trying to stay positive in a pandemic, I addressed this question to followers and the Expats in Latvia group on Facebook. As the answers poured in, I got both the blog material I’d hoped for and the reassurance that beauty lies in simplicity. No one […]

18 Iconic Songs to Help You Understand Latvia and Latvians

latvian songs

I was born in Australia to Latvian parents. Through music, films and stories they, my grandparents and wider community raised me to be and identify as Latvian. That cultural education sure helped adapt to life in the ‘Land that sings’* when we eventually moved when I was seven. At school in Latvia we sang to […]

How You Can Support Local Businesses And Volunteer During The COVID-19 Pandemic In Riga

support local businesses riga

Whether healthy enough to venture outside the house or currently in quarantine or self-isolation, we can all find a way to help others during this unprecedented crisis. Support Local Businesses Independent businesses contribute so much to Riga’s distinctive flair. I’m in awe of the business owners who’ve adapted to the sudden changes by offering contactless […]