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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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

Debrecen: Liebe auf den zweiten Blick

Scroll down to read the English version of this post.

Erst am Sonntag habe ich von meiner neuen Liebe Budapest berichtet. Nun muss ich beichten: es gibt noch eine andere. Nein, gleich mehrere. Ich lebe und liebe polygam.

Am Montag haben eine meiner neuesten Flammen, Debrecen und ich, Jubiläum gefeiert. Seit vier Wochen kennen wir uns nun schon. Einmonatiges, wow! Es war für mich eher Liebe auf den zweiten Blick, aber – was soll ich sagen – schließlich hat es mich doch erwischt.

29 Aufgaben hat mir meine beste Freundin Janni gestellt. Die ersten davon habe ich bereits erfüllt.

29 Aufgaben hat mir meine beste Freundin Janni für meine Zeit hier gestellt. Die ersten davon habe ich bereits erfüllt.

Nachdem ich mich während dem ersten Dutzend Tage etwas schwer getan habe mit dem Einleben – mein Herzchen sehnte sich nach meiner ersten großen Liebe, dem Ruhrgebiet, seinen Bewohnern und meinem Alltag dort – lief zwischen Debrecen und mir dann doch schneller was als erwartet.

Wir waren im Stadtpark joggen, haben Bars und Clubs ausprobiert, sind unzähligen Menschen begegnet und haben mit einigen von ihnen bereits jetzt tolle Freundschaften geschlossen. Wir haben gemeinsam vor dem wunderschönen Gebäude der Universität in der Sonne gesessen, (meistens) interessante Uniseminare besucht und einen verregneten Sonntag mit einem Buch im Bett verbracht. Wir haben das Umland erkundet, ungarischen Wein und andere Köstlichkeiten probiert, wir haben… ich könnte ewig so weiter machen. Es ist um mich geschehen – ich bin angekommen!

Das Elixier unserer Liebe: Optimismus, Tatendrang und liebe Menschen.

Noch vor vier Wochen erschien mir alles fremd: die ungarische Sprache, die Uni, die Stadt, … ich hatte weder einen halbwegs geregelten Alltag noch kannte ich auf diesem Fleckchen Erde sonderlich viele Menschen. Neu an einem Ort zu sein ist für mich immer aufs Neue ein unbeschreiblich verrücktes Gefühl. Einerseits sind da der große Tatendrang, endlos viele neue, spannende Erfahrungen zu sammeln und das Gottvertrauen, dass am Ende immer alles gut wird und ich nie allein sein werde. Andererseits plagten mich anfangs nicht selten Zweifel und die Angst, dass die neue Wahlheimat auch nach Ablauf der Zeit hier nur ein Ort ist, an dem ich Zeit abgesessen habe. Doch: Glück gehabt. Debrecen und ihre Kinder haben mir die Angst genommen – ich fühle mich zuhause.

Und plötzlich weißt du: Es ist Zeit, etwas Neues zu beginnen und dem Zauber des Anfangs zu vertrauen. (Meister Eckhart)

Ich hoffe, das Ruhrgebiet, kann damit umgehen. Ich komm ja wieder, Baby. In 71 Tagen können wir einander in die Arme schließen. Bis dahin, lass uns das Leben getrennt voneinander genießen. Man muss nicht nur eine lieben. Denn erst durch die Liebe zum Neuen, erhält das Alte seinen Wert.


Debrecen: Love at Second Sight

I just talked about my new lover Budapest. I have to admit something: she’s not the only one.  I am living and loving polygamous.

One of my latest sweethearts, Debrecen, and had our four-week anniversary past Monday. That’s a month – wow!  To be perfectly honest about this: it was rather love at second sight from my side – but what can I say? She got me.

The coolest bar in town.

Roncs: the coolest bar in town.

After I struggled to settle and feel at home for the first dozen days – my heart ached for my first great love, the Ruhr Region, its inhabitants and my daily routines – it eventually all went well. I was actually surprised about the fast paste Debrecen’s and my relationship took up.

We went jogging in the park, checked out bars and clubs, encountered countless people and already built great friendships with some of them. We enjoyed the sun while sitting in front of the beautiful university main building, partook in (mostly) interesting seminars, and spent a rainy sunday in bed reading a book. We discovered surrounding areas, tasted Hungarian wine and other  delicacies, … I could go on forever. I am in love – I have arrived!

The elixir of our love: optimism, thirst for action, and lovely people 

Only four weeks ago, everything felt strange to me: the Hungarian language, university, the city, … neither did I have a partly steady daily life nor did I know many people in this place yet. Newly arriving somewhere is a strange, indescribable feeling to me – again and again. On the one hand, there is that great thirst for action and  the trust in God, the believe, that eventually everything is always going to be alright. On the other hand, I did frequently doubt those believes. I was afraid of never really settling and sitting out my time in Debrecen. However, I got lucky! Debrecen and its people eased my fears. Even more importantly, Debrecen has become my home.

And suddenly you know: It is time to start something new and to trust in a beginning’s magic. (Meister Eckhart)

I hope, the Ruhr region can handle this situation. C’mon baby, I’ll be back. Let’s embrace each other in 71 days. Until then, let’s enjoy life on our own. You can love more than one. The old does only retain its value by the love for the new.