If I am honest, in the past I could or would not have sourced most of my enjoyment locally. Meaning I would be hard-pressed to satisfy my desire for enjoyment with simple local options. I firmly believed that you had to go somewhere to get away from it all, Mauritius comes to mind. Far-flung destinations provide a change of scenery and (if our phones are off) the opportunity to truly get away from it all… but they require long travel times, are generally expensive, and do not even get me started on the carbon footprint.
I have not left the northwest corner of Europe since January 2020 and I realized that as I wrote about re-learning enjoyment at the start of the month, that I had done just that – and not just the novel stuff like apple picking and boat tours. Simple easily obtained enjoyment like the Seven Sisters series which has reignited my passion for reading, receiving a beautiful marker set for my birthday has me coloring regularly, and learning to make homemade mozzarella has been deliciously enjoyable. Discovering the best happy hour (Borrel) by bicycle and SUP’ing the canals of Leiden let me see my surroundings through fresh eyes. Knowing my neighbors and the best place to get ice cream has o given me a sense of connection. Stepping away from my dark attic office for a sunny afternoon walk – blissful. I am serious, I cannot tell you how many times I watched the day slip away as I typed away at my laptop.
I realize that it is all that little things that add up during the day and compound during the week that make for an enjoyable life. Mostly it is our attitude toward the little things and how we chose to seek out versus tune out simple pleasures. Turning up the volume on locally sourced enjoyment has given me a deeper appreciation of the Netherlands and profound gratitude for the lifestyle I have.