A Few of my Favorite Things (to do)

So as I was planning out what video I want to make this week I came across, in my book of ideas, a list entitled ‘Great Things to do’ I love this list, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy just reading it, so if you’re in need of something to brighten up your weekend just keep reading

for cold rainy days
Make a nice hot cup of coffee, (tea and hot chocolate are lovely too) put on a murder mystery on Netflix and watch and drink under a blanket.

This is how I spend gross days and also what I do when I’m sick. I was disgustingly ill at a martial arts family retreat once and just spent an entire day in my parent’s cabin doing nothing but watching murder mysteries and drinking mint tea. There’s something about when it’s so cold and wet outside (or disgusting in your body) but you’re warm and dry that makes those days actually kind of nice. As a side note, the best shows for this are the long British murder shows, I’m talking about Agatha Christie and Midsummer Murders type stuff, for some reason they always feel more soothing than the normal Law & Order because gritty cop drama is not what you are after right now. So if you’re in the Northeastern US and will never see the sun or the ground again, here’s at least one coping mechanism.

Bake fresh bread

So I absolutely love baking, and it’s therapeutic in a way that cooking just isn’t. On Sunday afternoons I love almost nothing more than baking bread or a cake or something, and when it’s disgusting out, having something freshly baked is just really cozy and brightens up the day.

when you’re in the city
Wake up early with nothing to do, watch the sunrise and the city wake up during breakfast.

This one is obviously divisive but if you are a morning person or would like to try it out I highly recommend it. This summer I was working at an archaeological dig and needed to wake up at 5am. It was really hard, but eating breakfast in a totally quite apartment and then seeing the city light up in the morning light was a really redeeming experience. It’s like you have bonus time while the rest of the world is still sleeping, and that feels special.

Walk around with nowhere to go and no plans of when to be back.

One of the best things about being in a city is exploring the city but frequently we plan where exactly we’re going at each moment and miss out on the places that you only find by chance. When I went to Stockholm over break I didn’t do anything besides wander around the city for days, and consequently I felt really connected to the city and its’ streets by the time I had to leave. And you can find that connection no matter how well acquainted you are with your city, I get the same feeling wandering around Manhattan that I did in Stockholm.

Eat lunch in a park, people watch and call it a picnic.

The green spaces in cities can feel so relaxing, a chance to breathe or be a little freer. I’m so lucky that Reid Hall is just a few blocks from the incredible Luxembourg Gardens, when it was still warm, I was eating my lunch there everyday. City parks are just the best and really you should just use any excuse you can find to spend time in them.

Wander a flea market for hours and maybe find something really special.

Everyone loves flea markets right? My favorite is the one at Mauer Park in Berlin, every Sunday the former Wall death strip becomes one of the biggest flea markets in Europe. I love just looking at all the weird stuff for sale even if I have nothing in mind to buy (which can be dangerous I know). There are also almost always food stalls at these places so you can get cheap eats as you examine that weird chair from the 70s. I really can’t wait to go back to Berlin, I really want to get back to Mauer Park!

when you’re in the country
Go ice skating outside, swim in lakes, sunbathe naked.

So obviously your results will vary, do not ice skate if it’s not sanctioned! !(or if the body of water in question is deeper than like a foot), but all three of these things are really fun if you can do them (safely). Ice skating is always fun, but outside is really cool (heh) just because you don’t get to do it very often. And I love swimming in lakes and rivers (I love swimming anywhere tbh) it just feels right to be swimming in fresh water and many people forget or ignore bodies of water that are not the ocean so it’s often a refreshing change of pace if you don’t mind mud. Finally, if you are an American (hi) and you get to be someplace where you can sunbathe nude or topless, like your backyard, a nude beach, or not America, it feels very liberating to be able to take advantage of that since it’s so ingrained in our culture that only creepy nudists or strange Europeans would think being naked or topless on a beach is ok. It really is ok, and it’s really nice.

Go camping in the middle of nowhere, look up at the stars you never get to see.

I do love cities but the price I pay is that I can only ever see a handful of stars at night. Whenever I’m camping or in a less crowded area I spend a whole lot of time lying down and staring out into space. That tingly feeling you get when you look out into the vastness of space and now that you will never be able to comprehend exactly how small our world is on the scale of the universe is absolutely exhilarating. Sheer existential delight.

Spend all day at the beach with friends, swim and hang out on the sand.

Whenever I think of perfect beach days, I think of After-Prom (#ooftorproom) and I think of Santorini. On both I spent hours in the water with friends and more hours lying on the beach doing nothing. They were very different days, on one we were camping and had only our towels with us, the other we were staying in a hotel with a pool and lying on lounge chairs under umbrellas with drinks and food brought to us, but both were amazing because of the company and the fact that basically any day at the beach with friends is going to be a good day.

if you’re in Paris
Share a bottle of wine with a friend on the banks of the Seine.

On a river cruise my junior year of high school, the banks of the Seine were absolutely packed with people just hanging out and drinking with friends. Watching them, I desperately wanted to be among them, and now I am one of them, waving at the tourists as their boats pass by, passing a bottle back and forth and looking at the reflection of the moon on the water. If you’re ever in Paris, try it one evening, it will be a highlight of your trip. Also hit me up.

Till I write again, love ❀

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