I opened the balcony doors of our AirBnB in Lake Como and it seemed as if time stood still.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to experience some wondrous holidays in my lifetime; from riding a gondola in Venice to sipping hot chocolate under the cathedral in Cologne to skiing down mountains in Austria, but of all the sights I have seen, nothing could compare to what was looking back at me from the balcony.
Framed between mountains with snowy tips visible through the clouds, the bluest lake nestled in its serene background and a single boat drifted across the water. The quiet was broken only by the tweeting of a bird and the ringing of a billy goat’s bell.
Stepping out onto that balcony, I stopped, transfixed, and took in the scene. The Lake spread out for miles and the mountain peaks towered above me. I felt keenly in awe in a way I have never felt before- how tiny I really am in the midst of such a vast and beautiful world.
It was the most unbelievable view I had ever seen, one of which no words or pictures will ever do justice. That feeling of awe was self-transcendent. It shifted the attention away from me and my disarrayed life, and made me realise that I was a part of something much greater.
That feeling will stay with me forever, the view a snapshot filed away in my ‘holidays’ album of memories.
Life often seems to get in the way, and the natural world now evolves and grows around a population of somewhat ungrateful humans. We should all take a moment to appreciate beauty and experience life by senses.
You can learn a lot from reading. Almost everything can be found in the pages of a book. But the feeling of awe that fills your body and radiates from the inside comes only from experiencing something first hand.
There are so many countries in the world I have left to visit, and I always feel overwhelmingly grateful for the world we are privileged to wonder through. Take a moment today to stand outside, breathe in the world and really understand.