Between now and… whenever

Sitting at a co-working space in Utrecht, the Netherlands, the title phrase of this post came up when considering when to get up for food. Best line I’ve heard all week!, I thought, maybe all month or more. It reflects well the kind of holiday / wandering rhythm I am currently experiencing too, although begging for more precision eventually. Anyhow, the last weeks were all about seeing my sister in her student life in Lyon, traveling with family for Christmas, a few ski days in the Alps, visiting friends here and there in Europe and taking some time to do nothing (like just sitting on a train). All of this combined is starting to bear juicy fruits in terms of mind-clearing after a busy few months. Space freed-up from this decluttering is also beginning to generate some fresh ideas (or resurfacing previously smothered ones), with new sights, interactions and crisp winter air infusing a vivid energy into the new year. I believe these images from Les Deux Alpes do justice to the overall vibe.

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It was on January 7th that I left France for the Netherlands to visit my friends Tamar, Freek (see previous post) and Christopher (old classmates and alumni of the MSLS programme). I arrived in the afternoon, hopped on a train, dropped my bags and the first thing we did was riding bicycles to a bouldering gym. Definitely the quickest I’ve been climbing after entering a country, never mind the fact that it was also my first time in Holland! The rest of that week was made of sharing Tamar and Freek’s disciplined but creative and playful day-to-day; punctuated by a series of yoga sessions, jogs and climbing sessions; however above all I got stuck to the couch, working on a project I will tell you more about very soon! This took most of my attention, hence only now sharing the photos of these gorgeous, rugged French mountains and some of the thoughts they accompanied.

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The great thing about Les Deux Alpes beside skiing is that you can reach the altitude of 3400m with cable cars and a funicular, which allowed me to bring Dad (shown above) along to the viewpoint on Col du Puy Salié. It was amazing to be up there with him to share this special alpine environment, although we didn’t stay long because of the cold wind and altitude. I obviously relished at the views, enjoying this nearly effortless situation as well. We spent a week there and with the cousins we skied, enjoyed family time in the warmth of the chalet when the weather was bad, I shot some night photos with Sabine and quickly edited this video after we left:

Something that surprised me during this stay though, despite the holiday setting, was a strange and faint feeling of pressure: a conflict between the desire to produce extra-ordinary images (those you really need to put time aside and get out of your way for) and a realisation that I should be able to let go of it sometimes – like during a family getaway! Coming from Mauritius though, snow-covered mountains and skiing shots are not a common opportunity, but this “struggle” really showed me a down-scaled version of my behaviour in the past year or more: investing most of my energy into work at the expense of other areas in life: relationships, leisure, spirituality and more.

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In a way it became a forced reflection and made me decide to fully enjoy just skiing and just being present. Drones being forbidden over the ski slopes helped, and “wearing” a GoPro camera is just part of the experience. Even an ice-climbing opportunity fell through because too much snow had fallen on the two days before the excursion! Thus, we stayed in the boundaries of the ski station and found beauty within that, trusting in the chance to blaze new trails at later dates. Not an easy process but necessary to let go of expectations and enjoy the moment!

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After a week in Holland and a weekend trip to Germany where we visited another MSLS friend and hiked in the Eifel National Park, I am now in Austria visiting my friend Isabella (also from MSLS – no this is not a sect!!, just awesome people), who owns two horses in the country side. We spend the last two mornings basically shovelling horse shit and cleaning the stables for them and the other eight horses who are there, then training and doing other things I’ll write more about between now and… whenever!

Huge thanks to everyone involved up to now. This post may read a little mellow in the end but it’s been an absolute pleasure to visit, experience, move, talk, be still, reflect and enjoy your company. This weekend we go to Graz, and back to the mountains in the region of Carinthia. Peace and hasta luego!

Xav

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