Some days as an expat, as a person, it’s important just to move; just to get out of the house and get some fresh air. All too often, especially during stressful or difficult times, you can find yourself giving in to those heavy burdens and just staying inside. It happens to me. It has been happening to me. During the summer, I could even use the excuse that it was “too hot” to go for a walk. We live on the third floor and there is not air conditioning in Germany (unless you buy a portable unit which can be very pricey on your electric bill) so I could usually get away with that excuse. I could justify it to myself to stay indoors, even with my son, and be a hermit. Yesterday, it was cool outside and I forced myself to get out of the house and take the boy for a much-needed walk.
I had almost forgotten how beautiful it is here. I have The Mosel River within walking distance. In fact, it borders our little village.
So, in case you are having one of those moments or feeling like you just don’t want to go out, come with me on this little virtual tour. Relax and feel the breeze and just for a moment, forget those heavy burdens. Get back to nature, fresh air and the pure things in life. Here we go!
We leave our house and in just a few short minutes we are on the unpaved road leading to the river. As we get closer to the river, the vineyards begin.
A few more steps and we are almost to the water. This day is perfect. We are mostly by ourselves with the exception of a few bicyclists. The heat from the sun becomes shadowed by the clouds. We can hear the current of the water and feel the coolness in the air. Finally, we can walk along the edge, watching the current, admiring the hillside covered in vineyards.
The cool breeze is so fresh, you know, the one that smells like Fall; a little reminder of the chilly weather that is soon to come.
Just as the sun starts to warm us again, we begin to leave the open area and enter the lovely tree-covered walk way.
We can hear church bells ringing and birds chirping.
The vineyards didn’t stop, but line the side of the walkway, dropping grapes along the path. The boy tries pulling them off the grape vines.
We have almost reached the end of the road, but I stop and take one more look at the water. Is there anyone else that can just stare at the river or the ocean for hours? Even my son watches and he is so quiet but smiles at me showing that he likes the fresh air too.
As a perfect end to this trail, we enter through this magical looking “doorway” with the bright sun peering in through the branches.
It truly is amazing how gorgeous nature can bring an instant sense of calm and also be so beautiful it inspires anyone to be a photographer.
We head back home now and I can’t help but kick myself for not doing this more often. Nature is at our core and can provide such instant stress relief. The fresh air alone is a good way to feel rejuvenated and clear your mind. I consider myself to be a mostly outgoing person, but it is so easy to be discouraged by the constant change that comes into your life as a new expat. Do your best and try to get out a little and see how much it helps to improve your mood. It definitely did for me!
Other expats, what are your stress-relieving tips when you are just beginning your new expat life and maybe don’t have a support system or routine yet?
I hope you enjoyed our little walk; nothing grand, but oh so special.