A lesson in enjoying the moment

My workcamp group In Sega, Kenya, presented a German gospel during mass. Athough we had practiced our performance before, we were quite nervous about it. In order to proove our courage to our friends back home, we asked someone to tape us singing and dancing. Unfortunately, she failed to do so. Although we did a great job on stage and our spectators seemed to like our performace, I was crushed about not having a taped memory of it.

Luckily, I noticed how stupid this thought was quite quickly. Here’s why:

We did a great job. We had fun. We made more than a thousand of other people happy. Last but not least: We made a memory. So what’s there to be sad about? Nothing!
Picture Moment Laura Konieczny

Taking a picture or enjoying the moment?

Although I love taking pictures while traveling, I’ve recently tried to cut it down to a minimum. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to have photos and videos as memories of great experiences made, beautiful places visited and wonderful people met. I also love sharing my (traveling) pictures with family and friends as much as I enjoy looking at their pictures. However, as times passes, I sometimes wonder what I’m actually remembering: the “true memory” or a static picture of it, FESTGEHALTEN with a camera.

Does it really matter?, you might wonder. To me, it does. I don’t want to have a nice view through the occular of my camera only. I’d rather like to feel the sun, rain or wind on my skin, inhale a place’s unique smell and try to take a vivid picture with my inner eye. I want to enjoy the moment while I’m living it, not only afterwards when looking at pictures.

Looking at photos and videos is a great way to remember memories made in past days. However, they shouldn’t stay onedimensional but remind us of those unique experiences we made, beautiful places we visited and the wonderful people we met. So next time you’re taking pictures and looking at them a while later, try to ask yourself: How did the place smell? What did it feel like? What did YOU feel like? Trust me, you’ll SCHWELGEN IN ERINNERUNGEN even longer than you normally do.

What’s your favorite memory?

What’s your favorite picture taken while traveling?

Check out those inspirational articles by my blogging colleagues:

Matador Network: “Don’t see traveling as a checklist”

Journey of Wonders: Photography tips

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IYW (#6): Love, faith and hope

Throughout the past week, we have shared a great number of personal thoughts about spirituality, religion and many other very personal topics with each other.

After attending the service at a local church on Sunday, we talked about our personal values and religious beliefs. Chaplain Heinrich from Kronberg joined us for part of the discussion. One of the statements he made inspired me a lot:

It all comes down to love, faith and hope. The hope in the endless power of love is what we believe and trust in.

Kolping IYW International Youth Weeks Jugendwochen Chaplain Heinrich

Chaplain Heinrich talking to the group about love, faith and hope.

Quote of the day (#8): Lasting a lifetime

Today, I am going to quote myself. I wrote those words only a couple of days ago while evaluating and reflecting upon my Erasmus semester in Debrecen, Hungary. I am writing this post while I should actually be packing suitcase. I didn’t think this was ever going to happen when I first arrived here, but I am super melancholy right now. Great memories made lay behind and great adventures and challenges lay ahead of me. I am incredibly excited to be surrounded by my family and friends back home in Germany again.

However, wherever you go, you leave part of your heart. I will most certainly miss living right next to a beautiful park, studying in a pretty university building, having brunch, lunch and dinner with my friends, going to Erasmus events, traveling a lot (at least I’ll stick with that one) and spending precious moments discussing our lives. Thank you for everything, my dear friends in Debrecen. Sziasztok!

View from a mountain top in Pécs, Hungary

Enjoying the view and treasuring the moment in Pécs, Hungary.

Studying abroad is an experience producing relationships and memories that can last a lifetime.You might struggle to keep in touch with your friends back home. You re-evaluate your interpersonal relationships on numerous levels. You build new friendships. Some of those might last a lifetime. You learn a new language. You learn to find your way around a formerly unknown surrounding. You get a chance to grow academically. More importantly, you grow personally. You might face some obstacles – and will most certainly overcome them. And most of all, you learn to enjoy every moment of your life, remember the importance of appreciation and to treasure the memories and friendships you make for they might last a lifetime.” (Laura Konieczny)

Quote of the day (#7): We only have today

Wow, time flies (who would’ve guessed…). It seems like yesterday that I arrived in Debrecen. I’ve had a great time, traveled a lot, learned even more, and most importantly met many amazing people. However, it’s not time to say goodbye yet. Two more weeks remain for me to make more memories. Only fourteen more days remain before I will head back home to Germany with a summer full of new adventures ahead of me. Be that as it may, be departure is still a long way off. That is why for now I am enjoying my time in Debrecen, treasuring every moment.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa

Love has no labels

I recently found this heartwarming video and Quote on Diply. And it’s so true: Love has no gender, age, race, religion, disabilities, … –  love is pure, love is kind, love is wonderful. Spread the love!

The truth is this…when it all boils down to it, we’re meant to love one another, not judge one another. We’re quick to cast judgments on people based on the color of their skin, their age, their physical abilities…but love overcomes all of that. Love doesn’t know prejudice. Love conquers all.

When you take away all of the outer appearance, it becomes much easier to accept people for who they are, doesn’t it?

Blogparade (#3): Travel while you’re young

Once again, I would like to share a cool post from Canadian travel blogger Hannah Logan with you:

13 reasons to travel while you’re young

You May Only Have Now

You never know what tomorrow may bring. Not to be morbid, but no one can predict the future and there’s no knowing that what may happen. A wise man once said, “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today”. (Hannah Logan)

By the way: my next adventure starts on Monday, February 9th, when I will leave to Debrecen, Hungary for an exchange semester 🙂 I will keep you posted about that, too 🙂