The tales of European adventures continue.
Exploring the rugged coastline of Cinque Terre for the first time is an experience that can only be described as once-in-a-lifetime, as totally cliché as that may sound. These five charming villages (Cinque Terre literally means five villages) and their romantic, panoramic routes seduce you to surrender to one of Italy’s most iconic regions, and before you know it, you’re contemplating selling your left kidney and purchasing a villa with a terrace on the edge of the rugged cliffs (true story!). This blissful paradise, with its alluring, azure Mediterranean waters and slow-paced lifestyle is as close to heaven-on-earth as it gets in this crazy, wild world.
The combination of the sea and rugged beauty untouched by the modern world reminded me once again to slow down, to breathe, to absorb life’s blessings, to muse on the direction of my life. As someone much wiser than I once said, “It’s not only the scenery you miss by living fast – you also lose the sense of where you are going and why.”
I feel I am constantly rediscovering and reminding myself of this truth. Unfortunately, the word “slow” has a negative connotation in our instant-gratification-driven world. We want it, and we want it now – whatever it is. But taking the time to sort through our priorities and enjoy life at a slower pace brings about only positive results: calmness, patience, creativity, intuition, higher quality of life (along with rainbows, glitter, and, of course, butterflies)!
But in all seriousness, do you ever feel completely out of whack, operating on automatic mode, wishing there were five (or 10) more hours in a day?
Have you ever thought to take the time and analyze which parts of your life could benefit if you slowed down a bit?
I’m curious to know what you do to find balance in your life. Do you schedule a daily time to relax and unwind? Go for a stroll? Keep a daily journal? Take a break from technology? Travel? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s inspire each other to slow down, appreciate and cultivate what truly matters in life.