Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Travel until you die

On our route overland from Ecuador down South, in the (sort of) capital of Bolivia La Paz, we met  an interesting couple: Karin and Manfred.

Karin and Manfred are two 'pensionados' (retired people), and travelling in their super-comfy-all-inclusive-truck. 'For how long, and where to?' was of course my first curious question standing on the campground of the fully travellers-equiped hotel Oberland, where we met.

"Until the coffin'', was the response.
"Until when?"
"Until the end."

Until they can no more. From Uruguay to Alaska. From Europe to South Africa, or who knows where. Instead of doing one holiday after the other, and with kids who are still fairly young, their plan is: travel until you die. Quite literally.

So here is what they did. Instead of having a nice house to get old in, they build a very nice driving home. It took them a year of blood, sweat and tears, but they build it, with all they need: bathroom, shower, kitchen, fridge, books, beds, and what no. A driving home to live in, comfortable - so they actually do stay until the end.

And yes, why not? A refreshing version of being retired if you ask me. Because when having time, financials, and spirit, what's a better plan than travelling, see the world, explore, experience, and  ... have fun? So, meet here Karin and Manfred with their travelling home, forever to wherever, until the end. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

How to do your meditation daily

Meditating on a daily basis. It's a resolution we seem to keep loosing, again and again. It's like running, after it it feels great, but getting yourself out of the front door, that's another thing. We start motivated, after that great yoga class, after a relaxing retreat, or that special course. A month, a week, maybe a few days we keep up with it, until our busy lives catch up with us, and start running the agenda again.

And really, the 'oooh'-s and 'aaah'-s are quite impressive when people find out that you are actually doing it. Meditating. Every day. (And already was doing that back in The Netherlands while working monday to friday, morning to evening).

So I decided to give it a thought, and write it down: how do I get myself there, every day?

Surprisingly, the conclusion is simple.

Because in our lives and lifestyles, meditation is just not on the daily bucket list. It's not the first priority. Meditation (if you are doing it at all) is something that is maybe done on a long weekend off. A day with nothing to do. When we have some time left. And of course we never do.

But it's interesting, because we aim at great things - living an efficient life; living a successful life; and most of all, living a happy life - but we barely give attention to the most powerful tool of how to get there: our minds. Or better said controlling the mind, and take a look beneath it to see who is really out there.

So what's up with that? Why is it so hard to step back from the hurries, the to do's, the to gets, and (dis)connect?

It seems to me that it is just a matter of shifting perspective. It is simply about re-ordering the list.
Re-prioritise. Start with a clean slate, empty the container - as Leo Babauta of Zen Habits says it so to the point (and definitely worth to give it a read), and take a fresh look and re-decide what do you absolutely want to put on your daily bucket list. What is on your ideal agenda?

What I do is simple: I plan it in. I put it on my agenda as the most important appointment of the day. Having a drink in the evening? Then I do it before. Have to get up really early in the morning? Then I do it in the evening, or get up even earlier. Still work to do? Then the work goes to tomorrow.

It's that important. And it is that simple.

'But' I hear you think, 'my work is more important...' Well, as a matter of fact: it's not. And I am sure your boss would agree with me on this one, as he profits more of an efficient, connected, and focussed you, than a sloppy, wondering, and worn-out one.

So by using the affirmation below, we can change our ranking system in a second - putting the-should-be-most-important-thing-of-the-day, up on the list instead of down. No matter what. To make sure to meet our minds on the most important appointment of the day.

- Fenja

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loving La Paz street life

After having spend a month in La Paz, I’ve kinda fell in love with the place.

It’s busy, but not too.
It’s big, but modest.
It’s local, but with a touch of worldly on the side.

In La Paz the traditional life seems to lively exists beside the modern one; colourful Bolivian ladies walking through a Spanish architectural décor, wifi and great coffee right next door to your 2 dollar local menu, modern minibuses or old Dodges bring you to about anywhere you want to go for about 20 cents, or for who wishes to try a different view, public transport through the air in the worlds highest capital new cable cars.

Local witch-stuff, bohemian cafes, markets full of unknown goods, design shops.

And indeed, why should it be one or the other? People in zebra suits leading the zebra paths? Yes, why not?! Twirling and dancing zebra’s actually do make the busy city life a bit happier, lighter and more fun.

So I say: please, keep it all La Paz. Don’t change. Keep the old and do the new. Don't turn into one of another... the world has got plenty of those. Keep the crazy touch, the local, the traditional, the new, because it seems to fit perfectly together.


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