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Thoughts

A field of colorful tuips
Thoughts

Great pain and little joys

Trigger warning: implied suicidal ideation  When I was around 20 years old, I came across a book called The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. It really spoke to me. But then I got to a chapter that I didn’t understand. She wrote how little joys help to overcome bad life situations. She illustrated this by an example – how her grandma loved tending to her garden, whatever came.  My thinking was very black and white then. I thought “How can I feel joy when I feel bad? If I feel good, I feel GOOD, and if I feel bad, I feel BAD. That’s it.” I had severe mental health problems and I often felt bad, capital letters BAD.  More than ten years later, I can say that I not only started to understand the message of a grandma finding little joys in her garden – I also became a student of little joys, and they helped me and continue to help me through terribly difficult times.  Now I finally understand that feelings are complicated, we feel feelings in “layers” and we can feel more things at once. My little joys became an anchor, a lifeline that connected me to life […]

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A woman dancing happily with ribbons on the beach
Thoughts

Feeling joy when terrible things are happening

Trigger warning: mental anorexia There is a Czech blogger that writes about raising children, living a good life in harmony with yourself, and also a bit about spirituality. She lost her husband some time ago, but she managed to find great personal growth from this tragedy, so her posts have a very strong message. This blogger travels with her children a lot. She is basically worldschooling them, and from everything she writes about them, I believe her to be a great mum. Lately, she got a message that she shared with us. It went basically like this: “Confess that you are currently abroad! How dare you travel when there is a war going on?” This stunned me. Since when is traveling something bad to which you have to “confess”? Some Czech people are really masters in judging and envying, often masked as a virtue. Of course, we should help as much as we can, but I enthusiastically disagree that we shouldn’t feel joy and do joyful activities when something bad is going on in the world. If you don’t recharge your inner resources, from where do you expect to find the strength to help others? If you make yourself miserable […]

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Thoughts

Journey to a country you don’t want to know

I don’t want to talk about mental health, because this is a blog about travel… After all who would enjoy reading someone else’s moaning? I would like this to be a positive space. Space for small experiences. Space for little adventures. I want to talk about mental health because it is a fundamental part of my life. It is a reason why I cannot travel at the moment even if I would love to. It is a reason why I cannot do many other things. I’d like to take some of the stigma off this topic because I constantly meet people who simply don’t understand. And you can do it only by talking about it and talking and talking and talking… Or in my case writing. Psychological problems have accompanied me all my life. Since birth, I have suffered from anxiety even if I didn’t know at that time what anxiety was. Twice I was hospitalized long-term with psychiatric problems before I reached the majority. At the moment my doctor has recommended me for a disability pension. All the while you cannot see this. From the outside, I look normal, if I am not just collapsing. The inside is a […]

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a view of a meandering river from a rock high above
Thoughts

My Country or the World

I have written this post the last spring when traveling abroad was near impossible on my Czech blog. Since then, we didn’t travel through the Czech Republic as much as I would have wanted. We did the almost obligatory “empty Prague sightseeing”, but aside from that, we mostly made trips to nature. That was what our mental health needed. But I’m curious about you – how do you feel about traveling your own country versus going abroad? ~~~ I have to confess that so far I have not had a warm relationship with traveling within Czechia and it has bothered me. I was fully aware of how absurd it is to gush about some monument or place abroad while I find a similar monument at home boring. I wish trips in Czechia created at least a fraction of the enthusiasm traveling abroad did. But you cannot command feelings. While the prospect of traveling abroad fills me with joyful expectations, the sentence ‘we are going on a trip in Czechia’ gets at most an ‘Ok’ reaction. I usually like it but it does not contain that something… Something magical. Maybe it is because I traveled around Czechia during my childhood with […]

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a paper boat next to a big ship in the sunset
Thoughts

You Kill Your Dreams When They Come True

I was standing in the middle of Champs Elysées, thinking, “What am I doing here?” It was a tropical day and the crowds of passer-byes were becoming oppressive. I was thirsty. My chronic pain flared up. And, the worst of it all: I was discovering that Paris was a city, not a dream. There were buildings, and shops, and people, and a road full of car traffic, just like everywhere else… even if at the end of the road stood the Arc de Triomphe. I somehow never imagined cars on Champs Elysées. When I was dreaming of Paris, I never imagined any of this. I had a hazy image in my mind — an impression of the Eiffel Tower, majestic in the springtime; of charming little cafés lining the streets, of flowers and sweet croissants and breathtaking views… of something profoundly enchanted and romantic. More a feeling than a place. Something fleeting. Something beautiful. Somehow, I never imagined it being a real place, something from the ordinary life and not from a fairy tale. And yet, it was. Real, solid, filled with people and noise, and sometimes rubbish and smell, like any other city under the sun. In your dreams, […]

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