Not long ago I wrote about how important it is to timely act upon all decisions and urges we have, and not put things off (you can find the post here). I mentioned there that I was planning to take a few weeks off between my two jobs because I had never before had the chance to do that. Well, now my time is up and I wanted to share how the whole experience went for me. Spoiler alert: It was one of the best things I have ever done and few things in life have made me happier.
One of the first things that happened was that I was put in uncomfortable situations. I travelled with a group of other people, who spoke a language at which I don’t feel super fluent; I travelled alone, going on daily excusions, communicating with people I never met in my life, explaining and sometimes defending the fact that I was travelling alone. I travelled with my boyfriend and we were offerred overpriced touristic ‘attractions’ which made me feel quite uncomfotable. But all of these weird and uncomfrable things did expand my horizons, one way of another.
Secondly, I got to visit stunning places I always wanted to go to. All of them — to some extent but not equally — had rich history, interesting culture, beautiful nature, delicious food, soulfood music, friendly people, interesting flora and fauna, and all the air of a new place that charms and mystifies you.
When you take away the stress and pressure of your job, of the daily routine, of all small troubles and trepidations you have in your everyday life, something wonderful happens. You open up for new experiences, you start noticing the small beautiful details of things that surround you, and stop sweating off the small stuff. You become content with little and you want to do more. But then again, it is easy to feel that way when you have nothing to really worry about.
I had the chance to spend time reading books, doing some sports, watching movies and TV series, to find new music that calms and inspires me and overall, open up and allow myself to be moved by different forms of art. In the past, whenever I had some free time, I would devote a bigger part of it to learning something new, usually related to my job, or related to learning the local language (in my case, Dutch). But now I read for pleasure. I watched silly, as well as beautiful movies. I watched TV series about beautiful places and women leading ordinary lives but having extraordinary friendships. I ran outside when the weather permitted and simply enjoyed the sun and breeze in my face, taking in the view wherever I was. I listened to music that gave me goosebumps. I sang in the shower to it and danced to it while no one was around. I lied on a gorgeous Caribbean beach and simply looked at the wind playing with the palms’ leaves.
For a few weeks I simply did nothing but I felt everything, experienced so much and have seldom before in life had this feeling of pure content and serenity. I focused on myself, and at the same time, focused on everything and everyone but me. I reflected and felt grounded. I travelled, I saw, I sought and felt complete and utter freedom. Would I have felt this way if things in my life were different, if say I did not have a job waiting for me, or a person happy to see me back from each new trip? I don’t know. Will I ever be able to travel as much, and to feel this way of complete freedom and satisfaction with my life and feel like I might not have everything I ever wanted but I have more than I ever hoped for and needed? I don’t know. Will I be able to go to some stunning, gorgeous places any time soon and forget about all the little troubles I might have at that point in my life? I certainly hope so. It might not happen to me again but these past few weeks have been among the best and happiest time in my life. I felt I have travelled a lot but I always felt at home, I always felt safe, sometimes homesick though not sure for where. And now I returned and feel at ease. I feel sad it is over but I am energized and ready to tackle a new challenge. But I have to admit a very good part of this all was that there was someone, always awaiting for me to return.