Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Next Trip

Costa Rica!
Mexico City!
Yes, my dears, in a couple of weeks I will be traveling to Central America!


The idea for this trip was born when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her in Mexico City for a week. I thought: why not? I missed out on Mexico City two years ago and I regretted it a bit.
Now, I just had to decide where else to go (a 10 hours flight for just a week in Mexico City? No way.).
The ideas started to flow. Hawaii? Ecuador? Belize? Florida? Mexico? With another friend? Alone? Hours of brain storming with travel friends of mine, reading travel blogs and articles. I couldn't make up my mind. Nothing felt right (or when it felt right, it wasn't possible, like very expensive flights). I came to a point where I had no idea what I should do and I even thought about cancelling it altogether.

The answer came to me one morning while I was NOT thinking about where to go.
Costa Rica. Alone. It was clear in my head.
I need to digress here in order to explain why I decided on a (rather expensive) trip just because "the voice inside my head" said what it said?
Remember when I started putting my thoughts on a sheet of paper? Well, my thoughts quieted down enormously and at the end of the 40 days I decided to think less and to trust my instinct more. To trust what I call "the voice in my head" (so far it's going wonderfully well, let me assure you!)
So here it was, the voice in my head, telling me: Costa Rica. Alone. No sudden rush of happy feelings, that was for sure. On the contrary. My first reaction was doubt. It made me kind of afraid. Not a destination for me, I thought. Costa Rica, or so I read, was heaven for all the outdoor kind of people. And I am so not a outdoorsy kind of girl. Swinging in the trees of the forest? Oh my. Kayaking? Double oh my. Share my room with roaches, spiders and whatever other small animals (or larger ones? Didn't want to think about that one. Goose bumps worthy!).
I decided to trust my instinct anyway and went to see my travel agency.
Today I am glad that I overcame my initial doubts. My travel agent came up with some really good ideas for "someone like me". I did some reading and research. Costa Rica certainly is a destination for adventurers but I found out that it has a lot to offer for my kind of traveler as well!
I will visit Tortuguero National Park. The volcano of El Arénal. Manuel Antonio National Park. The capital San José. I have booked excursions that suit me (a lot of boat rides! Yes!! You know that I loooovvvveee boat rides) and I even will have time for some beach time. The crowning finale will be Mexico City and its art (and meeting my friend obviously).
It won't be my usual kind of trip, that's for sure. But then I believe that it does me good to leave my feel-good zone from time to time :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Perception of Reality

Sometimes I listen to someone talk, in person or on TV, thinking: "Doesn't he/she see that the reality in our world nowadays is another matter altogether?"
Do you know the feeling? The feeling that this person isn't living on the same planet, isn't perceiving reality like you do?

Living in a democratic state implies that everybody has a right to its own opinion. Arguing about different opinions (and finding solutions together) is what's important. It helps us grow and change. (Don't we ever forget that! It looks like lately people are tired of democracy because it's time-consuming and complicated. It's not. I mean it is but in a good way. The best way. The alternatives are no solution. No solution at all.)
Sorry, I'm digressing. Where was I? ah right. Perception of what reality is.
Reality is perceived differently by every single person. I really understood the notion while talking to a friend of mine about her gray hair. Please don't laugh! Bear with me for another moment. I'll get to the point. I swear.

Gray hair is my reality, so when friends talk about their gray hair, I listen. The other day this friend of mine (who BTW has light brown hair with blond highlights) told me how shocked she had been the day before to discover that she had GRAY hair at her temples. She was S H O C K E D.
It took me a minute to realize that she was serious. Why? Well, because her temples have been gray for some time now (more than a year. I know because I remember thinking that I admired her for not dying her hair. I never vocalized my thoughts though. I should have, apparently).
When I told her so, she was totally flabbergasted. "What?????? No, impossible. I just found out yesterday!"

She looked at herself in the mirror during the last year and NEVER saw ONE gray hair. She saw blond highlights and not gray hair. Amazing, don't you think? How we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear, experience what we are ready to experience?

Living in a democracy enables me to say what I believe to be my truth and enables others to express what they perceive as their thruth. The real challenge is to perceive their reality (by listening) and to explain mine (by speaking out).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Powerful

Yesterday's Women Marches were powerful! Awesome. Amazing. I got goosebumps while looking at the pictures. I couldn't be part of it personally but I was there with my heart :-)
This is what our future will look like!
#bridgesnotwalls


Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Is Your Life's Goal?

2016 hasn't been easy on people. At least, that's the impression I got while reading the  many posts on Facebook on 31 December. Posts of people who were really glad to be rid of 2016. Like from the bottom of their heart glad (well, honestly, the words used on some posts were a bit more crude hahaha).
It got me thinking.
Interestingly enough, around the same time, I had many conversations with friends that all ended up with us talking about "what is my life's goal?" and all of them not coming up with a satisfying answer. Just tons of questions.
WHAT is going on here? Why are people discontent? Why do many of them feel like that there must be "something else out there". Something more than just work and money. One of my friends summed it up in an Instagram post: My life is extremely similar to Rihanna's song. Just work, work, work and the rest of it I can't really understand.

I believe my friends talk to me about these heartfelt issues because they know that my life hasn't been only about work and money for some years now. They know I struggle with my issues, my life but somehow they feel free enough to share "deep things".
I am flattered. That's the kind of friend I want to be. Their trust is a wonderful gift.

I obviously don't have ready-made answers for them. I am no phychologist. I think a lot though. I read a lot too but I don't have all the answers.
All I can do is telling them my credo. Words that I read somewhere and that stuck with me.

My life's goal is ... living.
Living. Just that.
Too simple?
Well, maybe.
Or not.
Living your life, day after day, in a way that pleases you. Really pleases you. From the bottom of your heart.
A life where you get to know yourself. Your heart. Your soul.
You start with yourself and then you go on to the "rest of it" that my friend's post mentioned.

Sounds too cheesy for you? Well, it may be. I strongly believe though that's it's worth a try.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Perfect Moment

This afternoon, walking around the city...


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lisbon's Tiles

I already mentioned that, what I particularly loved about Lisbon, was that the city wasn't perfect. That some houses were renovated. Others not. The renovated houses though were amazing. And I totally loved the tiles! I have taken tons of pictures (I am thinking of doing a series of postcards).








Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lisbon's Ocean: Cascais and Estoril

One of our tours took us to the ocean. I couldn't visit Lisbon without seeing, smelling and feeling the ocean, could I?










Monday, January 9, 2017

Lisbon, Portugal

I spent the last days of 2016 in Lisbon with a friend. A destination that turned out to be a huge surprise. Honestly, I didn't have any expectations. All I wanted is to go away for a few days ... preferably to a place where it would be warmer than where I live.
It was warmer - that's for sure! And the whole 4 days turned out to be a total surprise.
Lisbon has not monuments or places you absolutely, 100% have to see (at least that was the impression I got by reading my travel guide). You know, like going to the Prado while visiting Madrid. Or see the Eiffel tower while in Paris. My surprise was the overall feeling of the city. THAT I liked (well, it helped that the sky was blue, the sun was shining and that we had lunch and aperitivo sitting outside!! SMILE). No, really, apart from me liking the sun and the blue sky, I really loved the overall feeling of the city.
The feeling you get when you walk around a place you don't know and you feel good.
Just like that. You walk and you feel good.
That was Lisbon for me.
If I had to write a travel guide, I'd have a difficult time. I couldn't tell you what place you absolutely don't have to miss. All I'd say would be: go there, walk around, keep your eyes and your senses open and follow your instinct.
You'll have a wonderful time.
I had a wonderful time.
Every single person we met was kind. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
I couldn't understand ONE word when they talked (I can read it but listening? Oh my, another story) but their English and especially their French is very good.
The food was excellent and the restaurants were modern in an old fashioned way (difficult to explain ... but the food was OMG good!!).
I particularly liked that the city wasn't perfect. Some houses were renovated and some were not. I do not like cities that are too perfect. Lisbon is not and I liked that!
A wonderful way to spend my last days of 2016!

The city of the 7 hills - just like Rome!






Ponte do 25 Abril

Same company built the San Francisco bridge ... obvious, right?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy 2017!

The 12 days of Christmas are over. My beloved in-between-time has been wonderful. I had a nice time with friends, family and also some time just for myself. I traveled to Lisbon for a couple of days (pictures and words on that one will follow shortly). I feel good. My mind is quiet and strong.
I had thought that I wanted to start my 2017 (blog-wise, I mean) by remembering 2016. So, I'm sitting here in front of my computer thinking about a résumé of 2016 ... and all that comes to my mind is: I don't want to think about 2016 any longer. It's over. Finito. It's not that 2016 has been a bad year for me. Well, not the best of years but not bad either. I had wonderful moments, enlightening ones, rather sad ones as well and then there were my amazing trips. An okay year that is over now. No more words needed. It's time for new words!

2017 has been good so far. It's flowing! My instinct will be my guide throughout 2017. These ideas that come to my mind out from nowhere. There is where my energy wants to go.
The whole "I go green" project.
Some really wonderful trips I have planned for 2017.
Some stuff I want to learn like webdesigning and taking better photographs.

Happy 2017!

Friday, January 6, 2017

12 of 12 Wishes for 2017

Picture: Chincoteague Island, VA, USA

Thursday, January 5, 2017

11 of 12 Wishes for 2017

Picture: Chincoteague Island, VA, USA

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

10 of 12 Wishes for 2017

Picture: Annapolis, MD, USA

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

9 of 12 Wishes for 2017

Picture: Chincoteague Island, VA, USA

Monday, January 2, 2017

8 of 12 Wishes for 2017

Picture: Ocean City, MD USA

Sunday, January 1, 2017