Amsterdam, the winter of 2018.
The train has arrived at the destination.
One of the most beautiful stations in the world, an imposing old building that had a breathtaking view as you went out of it- old churches, a chanel with lots of boats, trees with lights twinkling in the sun rays, a bridge that was crossed by many people who were passing by or were just taking photos and a very nice white restaurant right on the left of the Central Station, called Loetje.
…cold enough for winter but the snow was not covering the roofs of the buildings. The restaurant promised a spectacular view, so I crossed the street and I went there to have a coffee.
Impressive-the movement of the people, the stilness of the canals’ water, the colored little buildings and the rumour of the seagulls- all made the city magical.
Loetje, a warm place with a lot of light, good smell and tasty stuff. As the view seemed a touchable postcard I decided to sit near the window.
There was sitting an elegant woman next to me, having a beautiful appearance, intriguing though- she seemed to wait after somebody because she had another coffee and another piece of cake in front of her.
While she was sipping quite loudly her coffee, our eyes have encountered. After a few seconds there I was talking with her as we were old aquaintances.
The wife of an American diplomat, she had the habit to come here every morning-to drink her memories, with a taste of coffee and eat his husband’s favorite cake.
She was continuously smiling and her face had a light that I rarely have encountered.
”Travelling and setting goals are quite the same, aren’t they ?! You have that strong, untamed desire to travel, as you feel anxious and relentless about your goals to materialize. Exploring new cities, countries, food and feelings is something that will never be passé, old fashioned…
Travelling is about destination, setting goals is about result.
When I think back to my youth years, I realise that life was so beautiful and intense because I set goals-every year on the New Year’s Eve, before the clock stroke 12. I always took a piece of paper and wrote them down. They were small goals and big goals but I did something in order to achieve both of them.
I don’t know if they were miracles or not but all of them came true. Do you believe in miracles? You should !
Well, life goes like this…when you are young you have energy, passion and the desire to accelerate the pedal and look at me now… just enjoying the small things, admiring, while sipping the coffee, all the people who are passing by and the anxious tourists who are going to cross the canals by boats. Life is about equilibrium and harmony.
To do and to be at the same time-to do and to be without regrets and trust me, when you’ll be old you’ll smile at aaaaaaall of your memories!
My dear, don’t take life so serious, enjoy it always, make fun of you, work, travel, eat well but not much, make every day count, have the courage to act, commit to do what you wish to, don’t give up when you didn’t arrive at your destination, be nice to the others even though not all of them will understand why, dress to impress-yourself not the others, act with gratitude and kindness, try to do a little more than what you can, treat yourself well, make friends, leave them if they don’t match anymore with your values and close doors if you have to, open new ones, just don’t hesitate- life is about this afterall…about change.
I think that the courage and the commitment are the ones who brought me here-a happy life, a meaningful marriage and nice memories to be remembered.
Oh, yes, time passes, look at me, drinking peacefully the morning coffee and having one for my husband too. You know…we two used to laugh a lot and we shared feelings, experiences and even his favorite lemon cake-because yes, I used, once in a while, to steal some of his.
Travel as much as you can with people that understand your way of being and don’t forget to immortalize the most precious moments. Make them count because once…you will relive them and smile again.”
My phone rang. My friends were waiting impatiently for me.
I forgot about time and about my friends.
Cluj-Napoca, the winter of 2019
The old lady is still with me. I keep her in my memories and now that a new year is almost about to begin I won’t forget about setting goals while still enjoying the passing of the years.
She was like one of those fairies-good, wise and magic.
By reading, travelling, experiencing and meeting new people, finding ourselves in different contexts, we can adjust our perspective on life.
I will take with me during the following year, these things…set goals, believe in you, while not taking yourself too serious, don’t loose your sense of humour, the 3Rs are guiding our life-relationships, responsibility and reverence for life itself, the courage will take you where you dream to arrive, either as a goal or as a travelling destination and last but not least…CREATE GREAT EXPERIENCES FOR GREAT MEMORIES.
Travelling is the experience that saddens us when is over.
Travelling is the way in which we enrich our emotions.
Travelling is a way of giving thanks to ourselves.
Travelling is a way of sharing.
Travelling is a way of gratitude.
Travelling is Life.
by Gyorgydeak Patricia
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