As day breaks

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During the holidays or on a day off, I sometimes like waking up at dawn to go on a mini-adventure.  I won’t pretend it is easy, but once the ten first minutes after waking have passed (where I curse my body for needing so much sleep), I am usually excited to go explore.  Those are the mornings I tend to remember best when I look back, since they break the routine.

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So one morning, during our recent trip to France, Paolo and I woke up when it was still dark, swallowed a quick breakfast and drove to the beach.  It was such a gift to get to witness the world waking up. We spotted a family of deers on the road which promptly skittered off as we slowly drove by, not wanting to scare them.  There were barely any other cars and the silence was broken only as we approached the beach, by the relentless crashing of the waves on the shore.

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I loved being in the moment with nowhere to rush off to.While Paolo was fishing, I had time to wander and observe the plants on the dunes with their pastel colours blending with that of the soft sand.  The vast expanse of dunes overlooking the long empty beach, surrounded by the sky changing colours, were breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful.

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Solo cinema

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I like going to the cinema with other people and though that’s what I do most of the time, going by myself from time to time feels like a treat.

Firstly, it means that I can go see whatever film I want at exactly the moment that suits me, deciding at the last minute based on my mood (I’m lucky that in Amsterdam there are tens of movies on at anytime).  I love sitting quietly alone in the theater, waiting for the room to go dark and movie to start, watching the other movie-goers coming in or just lost in my thoughts.

Most of the time I choose those arthouse and coming-of-age movies that are beautifully shot and quite slow. At some point I often have tears rolling down my face and being alone I can unabashedly cry at the tough situations the characters are in, completely taken by the story, without worrying about whether anyone else is enjoying the film.

Afterwards, I can let the movie sink in and reflect on it without talking about it immediately with others and hearing their thoughts. The whole experience leaves me feeling recharged, like I’ve lived a sliver of another life for a couple of hours and opened to new horizons.