Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

I've always been interested in environmental topics. Some hearts beat for animals, others for children or refugees or ... you name it. My heart (ever since I was an adolescent) beat for the environment.
I read and talked about the topic, did my duty as a good citizen and recycled whatever could be recycled, I donated money to the WWF or to Greenpeace.
I felt like doing enough ... until I felt like I wasn't doing enough.
I don't remember the exact moment when my perception changed. Maybe because our world changed and took a turn for the worse (or so it feels to me)?
Increasingly, I read about burning forests, deforestation, oceans full of plastic, animals dying a horrible death because of human greed (come to think of it - most of the disasters I read about were somehow linked to human greed ... but that's another story for another post).
Has it always been like this, I wondered, or did my perceptions change because I live a more conscious life these days?
I don't know.
What I know is that I started feeling helpless. I began to understand that donating money and recycle my waste was good but by far not good enough.
But then, what else could I do?
What can one single person do?
Weren't my efforts like a drop in the ocean?
Ridiculous, right?
On the other hand Lao Tsu's said it right: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
And I also realized that...

I therefore decided, true to myself, to take small steps.
I set out to eat less meat. These days, when going on a hiking trip, I always pick up the trash that I spot on the wayside (so much of it! crazy!) or, when ordering a drink, I refuse the straw. Just to name a few of my life's small environmental friendly steps.
Nothing changes if nothing changes!
All good and well ... except for my "washing my hair with soap instead of using my usual shampoo out of a plastic bottle" experience. Oh my oh my.
I was pretty happy when I finally found a small soap factory that sold good soap with no palm oil, no preservatives, no colorant (during my day trip to Fribourg I discovered this little shop!). Two days ago I gave it a try and well, let's just say ... it didn't go well. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed soap in my hair (I have a lllooooottt of it) but it was never enough. After what felt like an eternity, I rinsed off the soap but I could feel that my hair wasn't clean. I forced myself to be patient and dryed it first. Oh man, it was disgusting. Not only was my hair not clean but the soap somehow "stuck" to my hair and it felt like I had put gel in it.
To cut a long story short: I had to wash my hair again with the shampoo out of the plastic bottle.
I will have to find another solution for an environment friendly hair wash :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Goodbye Autumn

It's almost time to say

I don't know what kind of autumn you had were you live but over here, in Central Europe? It was crazy good. I am usually the kind of woman who struggles when summer comes to its end. I ALWAYS have the impression that it somehow was too short. Way tooooo short. Well, not this year. This year, the Weather Gods were kind (let's, please, for a moment here, not think about global warming because, hey, if you think about it, this kind of weather can't possibly be normal, can it? It definitely can't, I know it, but let's just indulge in some nice thoughts, okay?).
What an October we were given. A gift. Sunny days, blue skies, warm temperatures. I spent so much time outside that I got myself a tan (I was asked last week if I had been on a vacation because of my tan haha) (a farmer tan = tanned face and arms indeed but a tan anyway haha).
Right now though I am ready for winter. I cleaned my windows. my balcony is ready for winter and my closet as well. My boots are ready for use as well as my coats. After all these sunny and warm days I don't mind spending some rainy days indoor. 
Then, at the same time, because, really, whom am I kidding? The whole "I am ready for winter" speech may be okay for right now but then, in end, I am who I am … and so I booked a flight to Sevilla for the end of November. :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Discovering New Places

I've been letting myself fall into into a lot of different moments this month … and it's still not over yet! What a ride. It has been wonderful and still is!
There is unfortunately a little downside.
I haven't updated my blog much.
And I am sorry for that but I'll make it up to you … starting right now.
One of the hiking tours I went on made me discover a pretty amazing part of Switzerland that I didn't know: the Jura region.
As soon as we left Bienne behind us, it felt like arriving in a total different kind of country.
First of all there were hardly any houses which was unusual (Switzerland being a pretty densely populated country). We drove up and down the (very green) hills (a challenge for bikers!), coming across … horses. Oh my, I have rarely seen as many grazing horses as during the afternoon I spent there!
PICTURESQUE was the word that came to my mind.

We headed for Saint Ursanne. A cute little town. From there we walked along the Doubs (their river) to Soubey and back to Saint Ursanne. The whole day felt like living in a painting. A painting called "Study in Green".
I was so absorbed in the beauty of the countryside that I didn't take many pictures. Sorry folks. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I simply forget to pull out my camera! Luckily I took a couple of pictures with my iPhone because I thought of sharing this wonderful green countryside with my Instagram followers (does that make me a bad person? hahaha).

Anyway, one thing is for sure though. I will have to go back. C'est trop beau they would say over there. It is beautiful. As the place is rather far away from where I live, I will have to make it a two days kind of trip. In other words: I've just added a new item on my travel bucket list :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Eating Habits

Back in January, I wrote a post about "Eating Habits". Re-reading my words of back then, it doesn't surprise me that, a couple of weeks after having written the post, I started to toy with the idea of stopping to eat meat.
Why not limit my meat consumption to while traveling or when invited, I thought.
Yes, actually, why not, I thought.
And I became, what I call, a part-time vegetarian.

It felt like an experiment at first but then I started to like it. My skin texture improved, my already impeccable digestion became even better. The only worry I have is the upcoming winter season. What will I eat when the variety of vegetables will be really limited? Well, we'll see and I'll certainly keep you updated :-)

Changing my eating habits made me talk and read about what "good" food consists of. And, honestly? It's a bit overwhelming.
So many different opinions.
So many different ways to look at food.
So many different opinions on what is healthy and what not.

Food seems to have become the new top issue to be an expert in. That's the impression I got.
To me it feels like people turn to food and health issues to feel like being at the wheel of at least one aspect of their life. We live in a big and "unmanagable" world. We feel helpless in the face of all the stuff that is happing all around us (the newsfeed is a scary place!).
We get sucked in even if we don't want to.
But we can control what we eat.
We are the boss of our health.
That makes us feel good. In control.

Or do I read to much into the whole issue?
I don't know. What I know is that I want to handle it like every other issue in my life:

Friday, October 5, 2018

October Wish

I have been thinking about what my October wish for you and me could be. Nothing came to my mind, honestly speaking, also because I don't have much time to do some serious thinking (remember my agenda for October?).
But then, yesterday, while reading a book this sentence caught my eye (yes, I have still time to do some reading hahaha - there is always time to do some reading, in my opinion). I read these words and thought: yes, that's it. That's what I wish for October.
Don't think, don't overthink, don't fret. Sometimes it's really just about jumping into the moment.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Tourist In Your Own Country

As my American friend is right now touring around the Southwest of her country (apparently, inspired by the words and pictures of my trip … I feel honored!), I discovered a Swiss city last week.
From time to time, I love to play tourist in the country I live in, and so, last week, I got on the train and went to Fribourg, in the French part of Switzerland.
I had heard nice stuff about Fribourg and I wasn't disappointed. A cute little town. A cute little town with a high quality of life … at least that what it seemed like to me.
The old city is perfectly preserved (it's maybe also due to the fact that it's located in the valley of the Sarine and that there is not much space to built new big houses). Lucky for them.
Discovering the city by foot is a challenge. It's all about walking up and down (my health app stated, at the end of the day, that I had walked 9 floors! Hilarious! That gives you an idea of how many stairs I walked up and down).
Here, what the city looks like from above:

I didn't take many pictures that day. It was more about soaking up the energy and enjoying (one of the last) sunny days of summer!

I loved the houses

Up and down

I would have loved to take this bench with me!

One of the old town gates

bridges everywhere … there was even one built entirely out of wood (in the 1200) … now that I think of it, I forgot to take a picture hahaha