The Importance of Noticing Details and Being Present

Details are so important. I live my live surrounding them. As an anxious person, there’s nothing more important than details. As a traveler, nothing should be more important than details.

But sometimes it’s really really hard to notice details when you’re travelling. It’s super easy to get caught up in looking at all the big things that everyone else is noticing. I mean once you lock eyes on the Eiffel Tower, you can’t really focus on anything else. Or at least, it’s really hard to focus on everything else.

I have come to love details the most. They’re my favourite things about travelling. All the big, amazing things are incredible, but the small things keep me learning. They keep me surprised and renewed and in love with where I am. They keep me present.

And being present is the most important part of travelling, because not only do you remember what you see, but you remember what you feel. Being a naturally very observant person, this probably comes more easily to me than a lot of people. You get a deeper meaning from everything that is happening to you. Unfortunately, you will probably miss it more because you formed a deeper connection.

A really good way to notice details and remain present is to journal, and journal about everything. Even if you don’t feel like what you’re writing is an important contribution, write it in there anyway. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise. Write about everything you see (draw it if  you can!), but go deeper. Also write about how it makes you feel, what you smell, what you hear, what you learned.  Even the most seemingly trivial details will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and remember when it is over. And take pictures! or videos! even of the most stupid stuff!

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You won’t just remember that it  was raining when you were on the train to Germany, you’ll remember the way the rain drops looked and the sound they made when they hit the train windows. You won’t just remember the cute little cafe, you’ll remember the big fat orange cat that sat on the stone steps and watched you as you walked by. You won’t just remember eating pastries outside your favourite bakery, you’ll remember how the sun looked shining on the awnings, how the architecture of the building opposite looked, and how the summer breeze carried the smell of bread all the way down the street. You won’t just remember low tide in Venice, you’ll remember standing on the steps that are usually covered in water, the smell of the algae, and the sound of the waves.

Ode to a Spring Day

The clouds are low

and dark

and they blanket the sky

like a wrinkled quilt

of white and grey,

but it doesn’t rain

not even a tell-tale drop.

The heavy clouds

hold the drops

on the tips of their tongues

like a secret.

And below them,

the trees,

greener than I have ever seen,

dance in the wind

bending and swaying

perfectly in time

to music only they can hear.

The wild flowers bloom

on the sides of the roads,

showing off their brightest colours,

daring people to stop

and pick them.

I may not be in love

with where I’m at,

but I’m sure in love

with all the life

that surrounds me.

Earth Day

I am a major appreciator of the Earth. I love appreciating it from a global perspective, because no matter where I go it is always the same Earth under my feet. It’s amazing to think that no matter how different the landscape is, it’s all on the same planet. No matter how different the people are, we all belong to the same Earth. We all dance under the same stars, we all wake up to the same sun and sleep under the same moon. I think that is beautiful. I think the Earth we share is beautiful.

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We all share this Earth. It is solid, ever-changing, and incredible. It is not an expendable resource that we own, it is an intricate system that we are a part of.

Today I’m celebrating Earth Day by not making any trash.

Let the Earth know how much you love it. Hug some trees, pick up some trash, maybe even promise to eliminate some needless everyday waste like plastic straws. Every day is Earth Day when you respect our amazing planet!

 

Nostalgia // Vienna

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I just keep picturing myself walking through Volkgarten. Or sitting on the steps of the Kunsthistorisches. Or walking home in the rain with my groceries. Or strolling along the river.

I almost cried when I came across a picture from outside my Ubahn station. I can remember all the sights and smells, and the same man who sang there every evening at the same time.

They’re good memories, from probably what is the best period in my life thus far.

But I guess that’s what makes it so sad to think about them?

I’m not going to lie, it was actually quite hard for me to look through all my pictures for this. I try to avoid it as much as possible, or I get very emotional. But I’ve been missing Vienna like crazy recently (well, all the time. But it feels like more right now.) Anyway, these are some of my favourites that I rejected from previous blog posts. I don’t know why I rejected them, because they are still beautiful. Even if you took a picture that was completely out of focus, you cannot take a bad picture of that city.

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So many things are happening.

Not entirely bad, not entirely great.

Sometimes all at once, sometimes not enough.

Mostly uncertainty, with a few rare spots of clarity.

Equal parts anxious and excited.

Well, maybe it’s more of an 80-40 situation.

I have moments of silence,

And staccato bursts of happiness,

And weeks when I feel like I don’t even have time to breathe.

But there is always the steady course of nature.

The change of the seasons

And the movement of the sun

And the solid earth under my feet.

The leaves of the trees will still grow green

And then burn orange and red in the Autumn.

The flowers will still bloom

And their blossoms will fall.

No matter what happens.

And even the wind seems to whisper

“All will be well.”

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Lake of the Ozarks pt. 2

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“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.”

– Jack Karoac

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I honestly didn’t think I would like this place as much as I did. I ended up really enjoying my time in Lake Ozark, Missouri. I actually really would like to come back, but maybe just in less cold weather. It was like returning to winter, and the son refused to show his face. Which normally I would love, but I would have liked to see more greenery and the sun glimmering on the water. But all in all, it was a great trip. I enjoyed a couple of chilly walks to the docks, a brief (very brief) hike in the state park, and just staring at the lake (which is way bigger than I thought.)

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Everything is Beautiful, Let’s Keep it that Way

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The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Today seemed like a good day to go to the park, climb into a creek, pick up some trash, and get laughed at by an old man. All in the name of nature.

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But honestly, everything is so beautiful. The flowers are coming up and the trees are blooming. Why wouldn’t I climb into a creek to pick up aluminum cans and Styrofoam cups? God gave us such a lovely world. I want to make sure we can actually enjoy it.

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Am I tired of climbing under bridges to pick up other peoples’ garbage? Yes. Am I tired of getting weird looks from passersby as I shimmy between trees to get a rogue plastic bag? Yeah. Does it seem futile? Sometimes.  But it is somehow worth it in the end, when I walk away with my cloth bag full of trash, knowing that I have done something to help the plants, animals, and people.

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It would be easier if everyone stopped leaving their trash in nature, that is what the bins are for. Or even better, recycle! It’s actually so so easy.

Let’s keep everything as beautiful as possible.

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