Traveling Home

Last Day in Maastricht

On the train ride to Schiphol.

It feels surreal that I’m already on my way back to Toronto.

Goodbye Dutch life, and European life for that matter. Goodbye Maastricht. I don’t know when I’ll see you again.

I want to travel with a silent mind. I may read a book but I will not do any work. Maybe I will watch a good movie on the plane. If it’s not worth it I will simply sit in peace.

Solitude is what I will miss most. Living alone gave me freedom and solitude. Cooking for myself, planning my days,making the most of a long morning routine. The rolled oats I cooked on the tiny stove, the roasted carrots I baked in the oven, reaching the outlet over the sink as if it is totally normal. Having a big bed all to myself with a huge window. I’d open the blinds in the morning and light would come flooding down. The bike rides to campus even when the gear broke and I had to bike like a hamster to get anywhere. The longest runs I’ve ever had to nearby villages, the ones up St. Pietersburg with a beautiful view of the city. Shopping for groceries, shopping at the farmers market for fresh veggies and fruit. Carefully browsing for interesting, feasible recipes I could make considering the kitchen’s limitations. Seeing the same wonderful classmates day after day and learning material that I’m interested in.

This all is what I will miss most.

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Eckhart Tolle | Repetitive Thoughts

Yesterday afternoon I stumbled across a documentary featuring Eckhart Tolle. I read his book ‘A New Earth‘ almost 4 years ago while completing my exchange in Maastricht. This book had a huge impact on me — more than any other book I’ve read. It changed the way I viewed both myself and my surroundings. It brought me a new sense of awareness and it is something I’ve carried through over the years in one form or another.

Sun-coloured leaves.

Sun-coloured leaves.

It was while watching this clip that I came to the realization that I have begun to neglect an appreciation for an empty mind. Eckhart Tolle explains that thoughts should be viewed as passing objects of our awareness. Thoughts are transient, they come and go, and all too often we focus in on them and let them repeat over and over. That was what struck me most — that our thoughts are undeniably repetitive. Tolle asks — that thought you just had, have you had it before? Very very often, the answer is yes. Why do we let our minds recycle the same thoughts and let them eat us up as we dwell on them over and over again?

After watching this clip I noticed the repetition of my thoughts. I let each recycled thought pass me by and this brought upon some new kind of clarity.

Clear skies in Maastricht.

Clear skies in Maastricht.

I highly recommend A New Earth and The Power of Now to anyone. There is also a film in the making featuring Eckhart Tolle called Milton’s Secret. They are obtaining funding for the production of their film here: indiegogo.

The photos above were taken yesterday during my run around the city. It was such a beautiful day!

Have a great Saturday. πŸ™‚

Appreciating socks

Life as a full-time master’s student has me appreciating little things that never crossed my mind as a child. I walk by the streets in the centre of Maastricht and adoringly gaze at the beautiful fall trends and the multitude of purchases we can make as consumers. Β Without a job, I no longer struggle to convince myself that a new pair of leather boots is completely justified. Although there are several hardships involved with living a jobless life (it’s neither sustainable nor desirable), it does add a touch of simplicity: buy if and only if completely necessary.

Which led me to purchase a 5-pack pair of socks from H&M last week.

Polka-dots, colours, and black & white staples were all included in this pack and I have been reaping the benefits of wearing brand-new, matching, warm socks ever since. It’s a rather delightful feeling for something so inexpensive yet so simple. πŸ™‚

Happy new socks

What have you felt an appreciation towards lately? πŸ™‚

Good night!

Diana

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