Stay-Cation Pt. II

Eleven days into vacation and it feels great! I’m no where near being completely relaxed and I have still worked during vacation, but I’ve also done a lot of fun things, enjoyable activities, and most importantly of all, I’ve done things for myself! And even though I could definitely do with many, many more vacation days, but so far so good.

The first week of vacation has consisted of lots of sitting at café’s, playing card games with Mamma, Rowie, and Christiaan, lots of reading, and plenty of blogging and creative brainstorming.

There’s also been quite a bit of baking/cooking, which I’m sure you’ve been aware of via the last few blog posts I’ve shared! (Zucchini Brownies, Banana-Oatmeal Cookies, Hummus + Tahini). I feel like I’ve found a new hobby in cooking/baking healthy and interesting meals. I’m not really baking and cooking to be eating (even though those Zucchini Brownies were irresistible) but I feel like I can express a creativity in making recipes. I can alter them to fit my own taste and lifestyle.

Playing harten jagen before pizza on Friday night.

Since last Friday (07.08) its felt very busy but I’ve also managed to find quite a bit of me time. Which is probably also why the exhaustion is really coming out. We went for pizza at Isoletta on Friday and we got talking about my desire to plan but also my desire to both live somewhere permanently and to just go and travel and live out of my backpack. Somehow it feels like I’m constantly planning for both, leaving me with little time to enjoy the present moment. As I was sharing my thoughts and concerns aloud, something dawned on me. Planning life and finding ways to fill it, whether with travel or with settling down, is just me filling that void of not knowing what I want and who I want to be, and so I’m just doing things because they fill up this feeling of emptiness inside. The same way I’ve been doing via food, shopping, exercise.

So during dinner all of a sudden this clicked. And I just remember sitting at the small table, staring at the faces of my companions in life, Mamma, Rowie, and Christiaan, and thinking that I finally realised that all this planning, even for things that seem cool and fun, was also just me filling the void. And yes of course there is a difference between wanting to go see a new place and eventually wanting to settle down. But that’s not why I was doing/planning it. Rather I came to the conclusion that no matter which of the two options I would choose, I would always be unhappy because I am not yet sure who I am inside. And whether I live out of a backpack for a whole year or I live in a cozy apartment, I will get fidgety and restless because within that construction, I am still not at peace within myself.

So now I’ve decided to let it simmer for a bit within me and see what this new realisation and feelings bring up in my thoughts and emotions. Today, Tuesday, I took some time to sit and chat with mom as we talked about my desire for planning and what I’d like to do. I think the biggest thing I decided was that I will be in St. Barth until early May of 2021. And yes, that is faraway and who knows maybe there is no point in planning something for such a lengthy period of time. But also the permanency of having a place I know I can stay until mid-next year feels like a relief. One less thing I have to think and worry about or figure out.

Mamma and I enjoying a stroll through the harbour of Gustavia.

After an insightful Friday night, the rest of the weekend was filled with fun and busy-ness. We spend Saturday morning at Shell-Beach, where we enjoyed the super clear water, before heading to Oubli for a coffee. By the time we had gotten home and started eating lunch, Rowie got a text from Lamberto that he was put on an earlier flight that was leaving in that instant, meaning he would be in St. Barth 15 minutes later.

Rowie and Christiaan headed to the airport to pick him up and take him to the house he and Rowie are staying at. Afterwards they came back here so Mamma and I could see Lamberto and we could head to the beach. While its never strange to see Lamberto, as he has been in our lives for eight years, it was very strange to see him standing in our living room in St. Barth. He is the first person outside of the family who has now come to visit us on the island.

We spend the afternoon at the beach, before going into Gustavia to have some drinks and a Planche mixte at La Cantina, one of the local café/bars. We spend the next two-three hours talking and catching up. Enjoy being all together again.

Sunday morning started with a run and some blogging, just enjoying a relaxed Sunday morning before we would meet Rowie and Lamberto for coffee at Victoria. After a noisette and some gateaux we went for a walk around the harbour. The afternoon was spend in a relaxed manner, Rowie, Christiaan, and Lamberto went to the beach while Mamma and I headed to mom’s house to enjoy some down time, during which I baked Banana-Oatmeal Cookies, before we went back to pick the three of them up and go make ice cream at home.

That evening we went to eat pizza, again, at Isoletta with some friends, the Roche’s. They love Italy and the dinner conversation was a mix of English, French, and Italian, as we enjoyed the pizza and wine accompanied by enjoyable conversation topics like life, death, politics, and regular life. After everyone felt like they were pregnant with pizza, we headed home and went to bed. Something I absolutely adore about living here is that it is so easy (and works so well) to go to sleep early and wake up early. I almost never go to bed after 22:30, if even that late, and I wake up anywhere between 06:00 and 07:00 – even though now that it is vacation I try to sleep in some more.

Tartufo pizza & Crostino pizza. I didnt eat the Crostino but the Tartufo was amazing.

So Monday morning I naturally woke up around 06:30, made a coffee and did some me things. I studied Arabic for a while, as I’m trying to pick this up again. I learned Arabic throughout my second year at university, since it was a requirement for my minor and I thought it was very cool. But the time commitment was something I wasn’t willing to give it at the time, so I stopped. But the past few months I’ve been practicing again via Duolingo, and I decided to keep a journal for the vocabulary I learn.

The rest of Monday was relaxing but busy. I blogged a bunch, before making lunch for my mom and I. I had some administrative appointments in Gustavia, and in between found time to call with a good friend from Paris, Alfio. The early evening filled itself with some yoga, an hour-long group meditation that my whole family also participated in, and a call with one of my closest friends, Diana. Somehow two months had passed since our last call and I was in desperate need for a chat with a good friend.

Family moments!

Today was calm. The morning consisted of going for a run, entering the black hole that is tasty, healthy, often vegan recipes online, saving a bunch to make at a later moment, and picking one to make today. Deciding on banana-“muffins”, I planned to make them while making lunch as well, this way I save time and don’t make the kitchen messy twice.

Before cooking and baking, Mamma, Christiaan, and I went to pick up Lamberto, to go have coffee at Oubli together. While we were drinking coffee, Rowie was completing her last diving lesson in order to get her next-level PADI license. We went back home and I made a very tasty mix of zucchini, carrots, and tofu, mixed with rice and a sunny-side-up on top. There was a side sauce of peanut sauce (not yet home-made but I will try that very soon as well!). In the mean time my banana-“muffins” were in the oven, and while we haven’t tried them yet, they look and smell delicious!

After lunch the rest headed to the beach while Mamma and I stayed home together again. I just wanted to enjoy some down-time, some me-time, typing away at my computer and doing some yoga. Both of which I managed to make time and energy for.

The rest of the evening is meant to be filled up by a three-hour long movie: JFK. It looks like tonight is one of those nights I’ll go to bed after 22:30, but hey, its vacation so what does it matter!

As always, comments, questions, or just a chat are always welcome.

xo,
Leona