Thursday, October 26, 2017

Old and New Travel Destinations

I was grocery shopping yesterday and saw ... Panettone on the shelfs! (For those of you who are not familiar with Panettone: it's a baked good that in Italy is eaten around Christmas time). November is not even there yet and already the shelfs are full of Panettone? Have they gone crazy? Is it possible that the Christmas craziness starts earlier every year? Or is it just me?
Seeing the Panettone made me realize that 2017 is almost over. Where did time go? A busy year (in the good sense). Busy meeting people, going places, taking up new challenges (remember? I play the alto flute now! Will have to tell you more about my progresses), having a fulfilled life in general (with its highs and lows) and (obviously!) I traveled a lot. Lisbon, Costa Rica, Mexico City, Cattolica, Lago di Como, Greece, Nice and Turin

Thinking about my past trips, inevitably, brings me to my next trips. Or ideas of next trips. (Ideas of next trips don't necessarily lead to an actual trip. Sometimes an idea is just an idea :-))
On the spur of the moment I come up with
Vienna (because I have some miles I need to use)
A road trip around Lago Maggiore or/and Lake Constance (because I have never been on a road trip in Europe)
Visiting my family in Italy (because my aunts aren't getting any younger) + day trip to the Conero region (because I have been told that it's wonderful)
Berlin (because I haven't seen my friend who lives there for some time) + a train trip to Stralsund and Rügen (because I have never been to the Baltic Sea).

The big unknown so far is my once-in-a-year-for-three-weeks kind of trip. The US comes to my mind, particularly the Southwest. In June maybe. But that is totally work in progress.
And you know that I love the work in progress part of a trip, well, maybe not as much but very much so, as the actual trip. Therefore:

Friday, October 20, 2017

About Confort Zones and Certainties

We all love our confort zone. Same friends. Same job. Same everyday life. No hassle. No fears.
We also love the certainties of our lives. The certainty of why we do something the way we do it (because we have always done it that way, because our parents thaught us, etc.) or why we never do something (because we can't, because we have never done it and won't start now, etc.).

Although I have never lingered too long in a confort zone or I am known to question my certainties, the last couple of years widened my perception of my way of handling these situations.
Am I lingering in a situation because I love it or because I am lazy or afraid of change?
Am I stating this or that certainty because it mirrors who I am now or who I was 10 years ago?

Let me give you some examples to make a point.
Take my yoga lessons. Some asanas are hard to do for my body. I am not athletic enough, not agile or thin enough, etc. I have learnt to accept the limits of my body. Then sometimes I am doing an asana "my way" while thinking ... Why not give it a try again? Maybe your body has changed in the meantime and you are now able to do the asana like the teacher is showing?
And you know what?
Sometimes my body moves or bends like it never had. If I wouldn't have questioned my certainties, I would never have realized the change!

Same goes for the confort zone. I love my friends but getting new ones from time to time? Does me good. Makes me realize how I interchange with people. Same goes for everyday life actions. Taking another road to work? Maybe you'll get there sooner or you'll spot a new bakery or shop!

I want to keep on lingering in my confort zone and I want to have certainties in my life but questioning my actions from time to time peps up my life!
It's worth a try, don't you think? You can always go back to your confort zone or your certainties. They won't go away, that's for sure!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Memories Cannot Be Lost

September was an eventful month. (Remember my post?). October so far doesn't seem to be less eventful. Hurricanes, wild fires, mass shooting and so on. Many people losing their life, thousands losing everything, I mean like EVERYTHING, they own.

We humans love our stuff and when we lose it, well, let's just say it's not easy on anybody. Even I who own less than the average person, love my stuff. Only thinking about losing my books, my music, my antique armchairs, my photo albums (before jpeg!), my clothes, my travel souvenirs, etc. to a fire or to a hurricane ... makes me feel ... lightheaded. Imagine it. Just for a second. Uuuuuh, not an easy thought.
So, these last couple of weeks haven't been easy on a lot of people. My heart goes out to them again and again. I think of how somehow, somewhere, they will have to find the strength to start over. Literally from scratch. A new life. With new stuff, new houses. What courage, what strength they have. I admire them.
A small consolation (if there even is such a thing as consolation when you lost everything) might be that no fire, no water, no wind can take away your memories. These will always be with you. These events made me super aware of that fact even if I am not directly concerned. It does me good though, from time to time, to be reminded of what's important and what not.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Turin, Italy

Summer this year has gone by much faster than other summers. Or so it felt like to me. Maybe because I have been on the road so much and time sure goes by faster when you are traveling! Maybe it's just because I love summer and therefore it always feels like I should get more of it.

Anyway. Going to Nice "stretched" my summer a bit. These 4 days I just spent in Turin had the same effect. Sunny weather, walking around wearing no jacket (at least during the day), having dinner al fresco.

I enjoyed my time. Turin is a beautiful city. Plenty of class. Now that I think of it, everything is actually classy there. The buildings, the cafés, the people. La vraie classe! I loved it. A city where people are friendly without being overwhelmingly loud. Friendly and smiling people. Cars stop to let pedestrians cross the streets (still something that isn't done in every city, unfortunately). Cyclist stopping to let pedestrians cross the streets (something that is not done in ANY city I know). And pedestrians waiting for the traffic light to turn green before crossing (I couldn't believe my eyes!).
As I said. Classy. Friendly.

I wasn't on my own this time. I visited with a friend of mine and we had the best of times. We talked a lot (we hadn't seen each other for quite some time and therefore had a lot to catch up to!), walked around discovering the city, had dinner al fresco and coffee under the arcades. Dolce far niente par excellence.
It was only when I got home that I realized that I hadn't taken ANY pictures. Can you believe it? It's a first for me! But then you can't take pictures of "classy". Neither of Dolce far niente :-) No pictures. Just "feel good vibes".
Luckily, Pinterest helped me out (SMILE) and I want to share one picture (called "Pixel Art") I loved of my favorite site: Mole Antonelliana.