zondag 27 september 2015

The joy in flying.

The happystepz duo is on the road this month and we will be sharing our adventures whenever we can. One of the things about traveling is that it can take up a lot of your time and sometimes you can lose site of the joy around you when you're stuck on a plane for endless amount of hours. I'm not talking about those short flights you take for a quick city trip or getaway. No, I'm talking about those 14 hours or more flights where everything starts to annoy you after a while. When you read the in-flight magazine and see that they're screening that new movie you're dying to see only to find out that it's not showing on your tiny screen. When everything around you smells like feet and the airplane food looks like something your cat threw up. It can be a challenge to find joy in those moments, however there is joy to be found.

To help you through these lonely hours of torture I compiled a few joyful tips how to survive those dreaded intercontinental flights:

- Make up silly nicknames for your surrounding passengers and flight crew. This at least will give you a couple of moments of laugher coming up with names like Sally Scarecrow, Chinless Chris or Smelly McFarts. And it's okay if you get less creative and end up calling some of them Mr. Bouncy chair 1 and Mr. Bouncy chair 2. You will be happier for spending time observing your neighbors than you would be just staring blankly into space.

- Reading is a great way to make the time pass by quickly, but here is a crucial detail about reading books in the air. Start reading them a day or so (depending on your reading speed) in advance. Once the airplane boredom and annoyance has set in, it's really difficult to get to know your new story. Concentration is easily lost up in the air unless you already got to know the story your book has to tell. Once you know your characters or storyline you'll be quickly motivated to continue reading their tale.

- Don't make the rookie mistake and dress to impress. We all know you will end up like a pretzel shape in your chair, trying to find the perfect position to sleep in. How are you going to do that if you're wearing uncomfortable fitting clothes? Obviously comfort is an important element to your outfit. This doesn't mean you have to look like a hobo. Choose something shabby chic, casual hipster or bohemian. You will be grateful and joyful for your clothing choice once you have found that perfect position where you have one leg bent in an awkward sideways position and the other somewhere near your nose while your arms brace your body like a warm blanket.

- Try meditating. If you're a nervous flyer or just plain agitated from having to sit in one spot for hours on end it's good to calm down your nerves. Close your eyes put your hands on your lap and concentrate on your breathing. Choose a mantra to repeat. Breathe deeply in and out while repeating words like calm, relax or peaceful. If you like you can listen to a relaxing playlist you compiled beforehand while meditating. If you don't have a playlist ready, the on board entertainment is surely to have some classical or lounge music that you can choose from. Meditate for a few minutes and repeat whenever you feel like punching Mr. Bouncy chair 1.

- Say cheese! Spending loads of time in the sky taking pictures is a perfect way to distract you from the time slowly ticking by.  From taking sneaky pictures of your travel companions sleeping to crazy selfies compilations, clicking away is a perfect joy/ memory maker.

- Write down whatever comes to mind; don't worry if you end up with only weird sentences or words. Your mind is full of thoughts that need to escape. Putting pen to paper or (finger to touch screen in most cases) will make sure you empty your head, resulting in a clear and peaceful mind once you arrive at your destination.

If nothing works remember: "The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Or in this case a single flight.

With love, Ana

dinsdag 8 september 2015

Freedom 2.0

Do you ever feel like sticking your head out of a car window letting the wind blow your hair? I get why dogs love to do that. It is actually quite relaxing. Let me explain myself before you think I lost my mind. Today, after a long day at work, I got stuck in traffic and on top of that my car started to get overheated. I usually just put on some music and sing loudly along with whatever song is blasting through my car stereo. Letting go of all the negative energies of the day and letting the good vibrations in. Yes, I just made a Beach boys reference. Unfortunately, singing to my heart's content was not enough. As the smoke was coming from under my car hood and I was being surrounded by grumpy fellow drivers, I felt that singing and doing my best car dance moves was not going to cut it. I needed something more. I needed to feel completely free, free from today's boredom, free from literally being stuck in one spot. I stuck my hand out of the car as I usually do and felt a cool wind blowing gently. As a few lonely raindrops started to fall an idea started to form. If dogs can do it, then why oh why can't I. So ladies and gentlefolks, I stuck my head out the car window. Believe it or not, it felt absolutely wonderful! In a world where we are often submitted to situations that are out of our control, like traffic jams, bad weather, broken down cars or simple boring work meetings we need to find a way to feel happiness in the smallest of things. Therefor if sticking your head out of the car window and feeling the wind blowing makes you feel joy, I say go for it.

With love, Ana