live slow, love nature, be adventurous

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring Adventures: A Blossom-Filled Walk & My Journey To Positivity

Isn't spring simply the most delightful time of the year? There's obviously something special about every single season, but during spring I definitely always feel like I have a little extra pep in my step! I love how fresh the air smells in the morning and how comforting the sunbursts feel on my skin after months of covering up under four layers of clothing, but most of all I love how much more energized I feel!

In my opinion, Germany is never as beautiful as it is during the spring. When the trees on the mountains around Heidelberg finally start to bloom and fill the valley with color while the river shimmers in the sun, the scenery really comes to life again and I couldn’t imagine a place in the world where I’d rather be. I may spend a lot of time dreaming about travel, but I never do it as little as I do during the spring!

I have already hinted at it in this post, but this past winter my positivity really took a huge beating. I often felt so stressed out because of university that I had trouble enjoying life without guilt and there were moments when I doubted I would ever be able to get myself out of this rut again. Things have gotten a lot better since then, though, and while school is still as stressful as ever, I finally find it easier to cope.

Changing negative thought patterns is challenging and I definitely can’t claim to have found a magical formula that suddenly makes life easy, but there are a few things that I have been doing differently that I attribute this changing attitude to: For one, I recently downloaded a gratitude journal app and have dutifully taken note of the bounty of things that I can be grateful for. I don’t believe that finding optimism is as easy as making a list every day, but I do think that doing so helps let the day start off on a positive note, which can only be a good thing.

I have also started to take better care of myself by allowing myself to take time out of my busy schedule to do both the things I really love and the things that – while maybe not being my favorite things in the world – I find to be essential for my well-being. I have finally resumed my love-hate-relationship with the gym, occasionally allow myself to spend a cheeky afternoon reading YA novels on the couch (are you following me on Goodreads yet?) and try to hone my creativity by forming a daily writing habit and slowly, but surely I think I finally become the person that I want to be again.

For me, a crucial part of this journey back to positivity is to be open about the struggle on the blog. I know that I don’t have a lot in life to complain about – if anything at all! – and a whole lot to be thankful for, but I’m also all too aware of the fact that it easy to lose sight of the little things in the daily grind of our life. When I chose to incorporate the word “journey” in my new blog name, I didn’t just want it to carry the classic meaning of the word, but rather to refer to the more abstract concept that is the story of our lives and so I want the content of this blog to reflect that.

This will obviously include a whole lot of travel, but since travel is neither the only thing I love nor the only thing I do, the travel blogging approach alone feels way too restricting to me. Moving forward, I’m excited to start sharing some more lifestyle content on the blog, based on the things that make happy and that aid me in my journey back to positivity. This may include round ups of the things I love, recipes of the food that brings me joy (sometimes, I love food more than travel!) or simply a recollection of a particulary nice day in Heidelberg and its surroundings.

These posts may not be as terribly exciting as a photo diary of Spain would be and they might not help me get tons of clicks from Pinterest, but I think that focusing on life’s little moments will really help me to be more appreciative of them and be more creatively fulfilling in the long run – and since these two things are the major reasons I blog in the first place, I think it will do me well to follow my intuition.

All the pictures in this post were taken on the first weekend of May, when my boyfriend and me took advantage of the balmy sunny weather by heading on a walk through the countryside north of Heidelberg. This area called Bergstra├če is famous in Germany for its lovely little towns, whimsical castle ruins and romantic hillsides covered in vineyard and fruit trees. And while I have probably driven through this area a hundred times, I had never really stopped to explore before and so we were amazed when we found a veritable picture-book setting:

All the fruit trees were in bloom and filled the air with the sweet scent of their flowers and little seemingly abandoned shacks fitted into the landscape so flawlessly that you almost had the impression a stylist had put them there on purpose. Compared to the industrially shaped agriculture landscape in most of Germany, this part of the world still felt untouched and unaffected by the demands of modern times and truly took me to my happy place. Proof that you don’t need to go far to experience something beautiful!

I hope you're all having a great week so far! I'm nursing myself back to health from a nasty cold right now (yes, I know it's May!) and I hope it will be gone by the weekend because I have some exciting plans that I kind of don't want to sneeze through all the time! ;)

How do you stay positive?

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