A year ago when I was in Colombia I stayed at the most amazing family run hotel. Every morning I sat out on the patio watching the world as I sipped my cappuccino. The owner took great pride in making it for me. One morning she even shared with me how to froth the milk. She did not use a machine like Starbucks or your favorite barista. She heated the milk in a double boiler and whisked it to perfection. It was so good that you did not just drink it, but you savored it.
This morning like most morning I made my espresso and heat my milk (in the microwave not the double boiler) and whisking it to the frothiness that would have made her proud. I sat back with my amazing cup of coffee. As I watched the sun come up and listening to the birds, it hit me. That American's truly do not know how to enjoy coffee. It is not about Starbucks or McDonalds or your favorite place but in the time it takes to consume it.
We American's truly are missing the pleasure in our coffee. That the rest of the world is enjoying! When you pick up to go. You are doing just that GOING! It is a grab and run. We need to stop and smell the roses, listen to the bird chirp or even just watch the people go by. With spring here it is a wonderful time to grab a window seat, patio table and enjoy your coffee to the fullest.
Why am I spending so much time on enjoying coffee! It is by slowing down you can also enjoy the world around you. See it in a whole new light. Use the Sherlock Holmes observation to see the world that you truly have been given and to enjoy it. Would Sherlock just get a cup of coffee? Not he would take in the facts around him. Are you doing this?
Have you seen your first robin of the season or the spring flowers? Have you noticed that the trees are budding? Are you ready to take on the world and what it has to offer? My challenge to you today is the next time you pick up coffee take the time to sit and enjoy it. People watch, as the French do at their outdoor cafe'. Do this once a week until it gets you in the habit of enjoying the world around you. You could try a different location each week for a different view. When you have exhausted your local area expand out and see a new view. Try going to the city, if you live in a city go to the country. The idea is to relax and enjoy your life!
Do you need to slow down just for your coffee. NO! If you have a family take the time to spend quality time with them. This does not include driving them here or there, or watching an activity that they are in. You say I do not have a family then try this with friends. Each week get together turn off your phones and sit down breaking break (dinner) together. Not a hurried affair but a real dinner where you all have a conversation, get to know each other, find out what everyone has been doing. I recently saw a French cooking show where the chef made a very interesting statement. He said that in France a dinner could last as long as 3 hours. Imagine spending 3 hours over dinner with friends and family! At the end of the dinner you sure would know each other.
ow that we have everyone considering spending time with friends and family what about taking some time and go somewhere. Imagine spending the whole weekend or more away from life with people you enjoy. If you have children consider it a way to meet them before they become adults. You could extend out and include grandparent, grand children, cousins, siblings, etc. Make it a time to enjoy life together. Watch the sunsets, fish and have dinner together.
Work and life will always be waiting in the wings for you to deal with. That may not be the case with the people in your life. They grow up and leave home starting their own lives. Grow old and may not be as agile as they once were. They move away seeking something different. Don't miss the time that you have now to enjoy each other.
You ask how can we travel and keep everyone happy. Find something of interest or pick a destination. Do you have a celebration coming up? Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, Retirement, Graduation, etc.
You can use it as a foundation to start the planning. The following examples are from people that I recently had the privilege of talking with and how they found mutual ground.
A grandmother's family was from a small town in Germany. She wanted to go back and remember her childhood. So she took her children and grandchildren with her to experience it. To tell them the stories of how she remembered it as a child and too see it now so many years later. The daughter when she related this story to me was so moved. But even more she stated that her children (preteen) so enjoyed not only the trip but also getting to know more about their grandmother and the past.
A man was celebrating his 60th birthday and wanted to celebrate it with his family. He arranged for a cruise that started out in Italy and ended in Greece. Something that everyone would always remember.
When you consider travel, think about the people that you would like to take with you. So often the plans are based on the person planning it. I am not saying that you can't do something that you want to but try to include other options as well. Here is an example: when we were in Germany my son who is into video games would not assist with any of the planning. He stated I will do whatever you plan. Don't get me wrong he did. But in the planning stages I mentioned a mid evil city. That perked his ears up. So I made sure it was on the agenda. Does it have to be as complicated as adding a city. No! You could pick something that has a lot of options. But remember going as a group, you also needs to spend time together. The grandmother did not send her family off to do what they wanted. They experienced it together.
We started out enjoying a cup of coffee and you are now in Europe roaming the street. How did we get so turned around. It is all about taking the time to enjoy that cup of coffee and not always letting life get in the way.
Enjoy life and everyone you have it it!
Lauren and Kim Medelberg's life in travel. We will talk about our trips, thoughts, and experiences in the travel world.