When I travel, I feel that not even the most beautiful library in the world (I love libraries, I find them truly magical) with thousands of wise books can begin to teach us as much as exiting our well-known little circle. Unfortunately, I do not travel as much as I used to and obviously not as much as I would love to, because life happened and sometimes anxiety or the daily problems stop my wanderlust from going in full mode.
Anyway, I did manage to travel for 13 days this August (hopefully I´ll write more about where and how) and I deeply consider it to have been a learning experience. I went to Finland and Estonia, which might not seem as exotic or special, but were full of treasures and lovely experiences.
I am a big fan of lists, I have lists of lists of lists of lists (and I am not even joking), so I´ll just add one here, with 4 lessons from my most recent trip. Maybe lessons is a too strong word, but it is how I feel. They are just random ideas, a mix of everything.
- Silence is really good for mind and soul. This is extremely obvious, but sometimes I forget it. Barcelona is such a noisy city, eating out here frequently looks like going to a concert, people are loud, talkative, busy. I, myself, talk a lot, have busy days and maybe I am actually afraid of a bit of silence, considering that even when I am walking by myself I rapidly search for a podcast or some music to listen to. But then, I found myself in places like these:
And all of a sudden I had to stop and enjoy the silence. I am a very hyperactive person and I won´t even try to claim that I became this mindful silent guru meditating about my soul and the infinity. Meanwhile, I find myself back in the chaos of the daily buzz, but what I am saying is that silence, nature and stopping to enjoy are wonderful for troubled minds.
This is not a new lesson, nor did I discover the essence of life here, but it was just an important reminder: stop. enjoy. live.
- Embrace your fear. I love the sea but I absolutely HATE boats and sailing. I get dizzy, I am scared, it is a nightmare. But I had to take 3 ferries and although I did have the sensation that I am in a roller coaster that just won´t stop, I got to see this:
And I have to say, it has been amazing. Would I do this again? Hmm….Don´t think so. Is it something that I can now finally delete from my to-do-list? Proudly so! 🙂
- What you see is not always what you get. I tend to not be very polite or assertive sometimes, I am not one for a lot of social acting. I don´t own a big reservoir of patience, so I like the what you is what you get approach. However, while on holiday, I found myself in situations when under the most serious of faces there was a nice smile upon a helpful answer. Behind the somewhat moderate amount of smiles, I found the best staff ever. What I saw as silence was actually meaningful interaction.
People in Finland and Estonia were nothing short of amazing and by no means as cold or distant as they are pictured. But one has to scratch a bit the surface to find the true treasure. Lesson learned!
- Finally, culinary lessons, because I feel like I went too much on the philosophical side of things.
Infused water is a thing from Heaven:
Salmon is delicious, especially in this Finnish salad with pickles and dill:
Never underestimate the yummyness of bread and butter:
Reading all this, maybe you´ll think: oh wow, Captain Obvious, but I´ll take it. 🙂 Maybe travelling a little reminded me of things I already knew. Hope it works for you, too.