Ever since a three-week stint in Crete in 2018 I have been yearning to return. Something about this place made my soul feel right at home. I realized it’s the beauty of slow living.
I mean even the main highway has a speed limit of 80 at the most. The village shops sell local produce, homemade olive oil and Feta, and when you eat at one of the Tavernas, chances are that your food has been grown in the family garden and you get grandma’s cake served for dessert. Time seems to pass a bit slower here in the land of ancient rocks and ruins.
On my visit to Germany after many years of not living there and after 18 months in Bali, the rapid pulse of the place was literally palpable for me. People seem to be in a hurry all the time; on the roads, in the supermarkets, in life. Racing to finish school, graduate from university, achieve the next career stage… and so it continues.
I’m wondering, what’s the hurry? Aren’t we missing out on enjoying the scenery when we move 100 miles an hour? What’s the point of missing out on the journey in order to arrive at the destination, when all we do when we get there is to race to the next destination?
Out of all criteria that make a place livable, slowness is an important one to me. I like living in places, where people have ceremonies in the middle of the junction while others patiently wait, where people take time for a chat with one another, where there’s more focus on the present moment than the future, where people notice beauty around them, where I can enjoy the landscape while driving, where the little things matter.
What happens when you slow down?
The nervous system switches into relaxation mode easier, as opposed to being on high alert 24/7
You are more present which leads to more overall life satisfaction
Your focus gets sharper, which improves your performance
Deeper relationships as others will notice when you are really present with them
You enjoy life more when you are more aware of the little things
So here’s to slowing down and being present. Yamas!