One of the things that is quite different in Europe that the US is the leisurely pace with which meals are taken, Especially dinners. When in places like Spain and France, dinners can last for hours and are usually taken with wine then coffee. You are supposed to slow down and enjoy the food and the company that you are with. This something that I personally am less used to, especially at home even though the man and I do eat dinner together most nights and talk. However to sit for hours and just be there in a restaurant? That is something that I realize made me uncomfortable, but it also made me take seriously slowing down.
Lisbon was my first stop of five on this almost three-week jaunt around the world and back. The hardest thing was slowing myself down. I do not notices just have fast I am going or how much I am doing from day-to-day. Even when I wake up and have my devotional time it is a limited time that I have to require of myself so that I do not wake up and just start knocking things off of my to-do list. This holiday was supposed to be an opportunity for me to take some time to myself and to recharge, slow down, and find my joy and passion for my work.
My first days in Lisbon, I was caught between easing yourself in and go see as much as you can! In a day and a half, I walked close to 13 miles up and downhill. My body was hurting, specifically my hips and calves.
I found that the pace of Lisbon was unrushed, which made me want to slow down and be present. I tried to find parks to sit in and just read with my feet in the grass. It was refreshing to not feel the need to go a whole lot, which made my time there a refreshing start to my trip.
I have a habit of feeling like because I am a travel blogger I have to exhaust myself to see everything just to have something to offer. The downside to this is that I hardly ever feel as though I am getting a vacation. For this trip, I set an intention that I would see what I wanted to but also make getting some rest priority. I tried to strike a balance between sightseeing and also being a bum. I was by myself in places I’d never been to after having turned in my first dissertation proposal draft. I deserved a break!
Slowing down as you travel is a great way to practice being more present. You want to make sure that you are not just running and ripping for the sake of saying you did and taking fly pictures for the ‘gram. In the end, posturing for the masses doesn’t matter. What matters is creating fond memories and finding immense value in being somewhere new.
Love and Light,