Friday, May 27, 2016

Traveling Solo

Every time I talk about traveling with new people, they all react to the fact that I often travel alone. Usually I get one of these three replies:

1) Really? You travel alone? Me too! (Variation: Really? You travel alone? Cool! Tell me more!)

2) Really? You travel alone? Aren't you afraid? I could never ever travel alone. I'd be too afraid!

3) Really? You travel alone? Oh, I envy you. I wish I had the courage to do so myself!

Well, there is actually a fourth kind of answer (now that I think of it): people who aren't interested in traveling at all. The shrug of the shoulders and the bored look are my signals to change the topic :-)

Fear and lack of courage. Interesting, don't you think?
In our conversation these people often go on and on explaining to me why they possibly cannot travel alone. I often wonder what kind of answer they expect me to give. I don't know.
What I know is that either a person wants to travel or not.

Not everybody has to travel alone though. Even I would love to have a travel companion. But what's the alternative? Not traveling at all? Well, that is NOT an alternative for me. Nope. None at all.
That's why I travel alone.

I have been afraid as well. My first solo trip hasn't been easygoing at all. Solo travel, in my opinion, is something that has to be learned. It's easier for some, more difficult for others.
And about finding the courage? Life is about courage! If you like to travel then you somehow find the courage.
Obviously I would be delighted to share all kind of future travels with the perfect travel companion (I haven't given up hope yet :-)). In the meantime, I keep on traveling alone. Keep on discovering new places, enjoying being on the road!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Charlie Chaplin's Speech on his 70th Birthday

Last week, during the final meditation in my yoga class, our teacher read us these words. I want to share them with you because I'm sure you love them as much as I do!



As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY“.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me.
Today I call it “RESPECT“.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY“.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE“.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it “SIMPLICITY“.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF“.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is “MODESTY“.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT“.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART“.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know THAT IS “LIFE“!
(Charlie Chaplin, 16.4.1959)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Happiness

We all want to be happy.
Right?
Well, we may not say it out loud all the time but deep down we all want to be happy.
But then what does "being happy" actually mean? What does it consist of?
Have you ever thought of that? Well, I didn't, at least not until I read this article in the Corriere della Sera (written by Laura Campanello) (http://27esimaora.corriere.it/articolo/la-felicita-e-adesso/) that was about happiness. I liked the whole article but one sentence particularly spoke to me:

La felicità è una scelta, 
che mette radici nelle nostre abitudini,
nelle scelte di vita,
nelle relazioni,
nella capacità di accettare ciò che ci accade e non possiamo cambiare e
nella possibilità sempre disponibile di cambiare ciò che possiamo trasformare,
a partire da noi stessi e
dal nostro stile di vita che dovrà comprendere
la cura dell'anima quanto 
quella del corpo.

(I try to translate)
Happiness is a choice
that takes roots in our habits,
in our lifestyle choices,
in relationships,
in our ability to accept what happens to us and we cannot change and
to change what we can transform,
starting from ourselves and our lifestyle 
that will have to include
taking care of our soul as well as
our body. 

Wow. Just wow. I got goosebumps when I read her words. Really strong words, don't you think?
Happiness is multilayered. Consists of many (also little) things. It's about a life well lived. Eleanor Roosevelt got it all right!





  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Next Trip


For my next trip, I'll do something that I rarely do: I am going back to a place I have already visited. And not because I visit some friends or family. No, because I want to.
I want to go back to Washington, DC.
I have been there in 2009 and I remember thinking, when I left, that I hadn't been able to visit all the places I had wanted to see. Especially all the very nice museums! And I was wondering how the parks and gardens would look like with green leaves on the trees and flowers (I had visited in November - not many flowers that time of the year!).

Well, I am going to see it all! I will start my (almost) three weeks in the US in Washington. 4 entire days just to visit. I don't want to miss out on anything! After that I'll be renting a car and drive around the Chesapeake Bay. I am especially interested in visiting the places and peninsulas on the Atlantic. There are some parks I want to visit but mostly it's gonna be about "finding" places by chance - the way I like it! A exciting road trip. Can't wait...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Wise Words

I try. I try hard. Not always easy to do though :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remembering the Mediterranean

 It's raining again! Spring, this year, has a hard time to really show up. That's why I thought about my stroll along the beach of Cattolica - not that the weather was better back then! Needed a lovely thought in this gray day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Do we Need All the Stuff?

I spent my last couple of weeks ... spending money. On clothes. On new lenses for my glasses. On my upcoming US trip (I'll tell you about it! I'm sooo excited!!). Shoes. Bags. My Italy trip.
I don't know why I seem to spend money all at once. With me it's all or nothing. I can go for months without buying anything at all and then, suddenly, here I am. Buying it all SMILE
Anyway.
This post is not about spending money. It's about all the stuff they sell in the stores. I don't mean clothes or food. I mean "interior decoration".
Let's take IKEA, for example.
I love IKEA but have you ever thought about what happens to the millions of items in their shops if they won't sell them? And they CAN'T possibly sell them all as every season they have new ones. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Easter. Christmas. Halloween. etc. etc. New season, different stuff.

What happens to all the unsold things, I wonder? It's not just IKEA I am wondering about. This goes for every other shop that sells the same kind of items.
What happens to all the stuff?
Do they throw it away?
Do they recycle some of it?
And I have one last question for you:
Do we really NEED to be able to choose from, let's say, 20 different candleholders? Do we really?