So I was in a bit of a daze yesterday as I walked home after meeting Tom for lunch (perhaps a post-falafel stupor) and I realized that I was just strolling along at complete ease. Part way through my walk I was surprised to find how calm and happy I was and that both my feet and my mind were wandering peacefully, which was somewhat in contrast with my normal high stress state of hyper-efficiency. Having just finished three and a half years of rather stressful and hectic undergraduate work I am finding my unscheduled time of travelling to be quite enjoyable and therapeutic. Every day I do whatever it is that I want to do, whether that is eat chocolate and read, go to the grocery store, meet up with Tom for coffee and lunch, or hop on a train to Prague. I've also greatly been enjoying my little walks everyday since they have no real set destinations and I'm free to take as much or as little time on them as I wish. Reading later that evening, A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (kindly loaned to me by my sister this summer and I promise I will return it soon), I found her describing that same blissful state I had been in earlier on my walk.
"Strolling through those colleges past those ancient halls the roughness of the present seemed smoothed away; the body seemed contained in a miraculous glass cabinet through which no sound could penetrate, and the mind, freed from any contact with facts ... was at liberty to settle down upon whatever meditation was in harmony with the moment."
During the course of my travels to various countries I have been aware of what a gift travel is and how privileged I am to be able to enjoy this luxury of a month spent at my leisure in Eastern Europe. Lately though I have been realizing how truly special this time is and how it has come at a very opportune moment in my life for me to not only enjoy it but to use it as a chance to reflect and prepare for the next stage of my life.