The Good Things


Sitting here in a new home base in Lisbon, in beautiful weather, I have unfortunately managed to hit a very unexpected and (for the moment) massive wall of traveler's blues - a road-weary feeling that hasn't occurred since a few dark and wet nights in Amsterdam last fall.

As such, some reflections seem necessary on what makes up the good life - ideas and items which I've either learned or had reinforced in the past year. I'll leave out the obvious (family, friends, charity) and the intimate.

  • fish
  • stroopwafels

  • (but stay away from fish-flavoured stroopwafels)
  • wine
  • Guinness
  • real tea
  • garlic
  • Spanish coffee
  • ginger
  • pizza
  • fennel
  • less vitamins
Hang out with:
  • dogs

Live near:
Get on:
  • a bike
  • Skype
  • a train
  • more time
  • less excuses
  • an effort
  • more meals with your partner
  • one new place per year, minimum
  • old relatives
  • neighbourhood shop owners
  • urban parks

  • less reality TV
  • The Daily Show
  • gas prices less
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • live music
  • stay up till 5am very occasionally
  • less texting
  • more calling
  • take pictures of your current hometown
  • comment on your favourite blogs (the authors like hearing from you)
  • learn other languages
Listen to:
  • Thievery Corporation
  • U2 (pre-mid-90s)
  • Marvin Gaye
  • iTunes Radio



melissa evanson said...

Great list Jeff. Here are a few of my favourite things:
- making soup from scratch (yes including the broth)
- making pizza (also from scratch including crust and sauce, ideally as you drink wine and listen to music - this should be shared with friends but solo is also pretty awesome)
- bubble baths (ideally also shared with others but great solo)
- running by the water (preferably the ocean where wildlife sightings are common)
- fresh flowers
- talking to someone elderly, preferably Italian, who works in a deli (always a good time)
- art house movies on a dreary day
- walking in the rain and not caring if you get wet
- sitting on top of a mountain summit
- swimming in the ocean

Anonymous said...

Is that a shot down your street? Looking forward to seeing more photos of your pad. Best of luck settling in.


Unknown said...

Stroopwafels are great, but I would say "gevulde speculaas" is the thing to go for.

Only available in The Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles and not the whole year around. It will be in the super markets about now, just in time for the winter blues starting around now with the shorter days.


Jeff said...

Hey Ric - that is indeed a shot down my street; from my bedroom window/writing desk.

Ed - I LOVE that stuff... like a lead weight in the gut though.

Amsterdam Bound said...

I love this blog post! Thank you...

David of Quillcards Ecards said...

Can you get up on the roof where you live? I have never been to Portugal and often been intrigued by it. Would love to see more shots of the city.

those not-since-the-dark-and-wet-nights-in-Amsterdam blues, may I recommend Victor Frankl's 'Man's Search For Meaning'

Sometimes we wait and bear the wait, and that is our task.

Jeff said...

David - thanks so much for the recommendation and the sage words. It really is appreciated. As for shots of the city - A) yes, I can get on the roof and B) there will be lots of pictures forthcoming. Best, Jeff.

Kerry Dexter said...

hope your traveler's blues are lifting. I'd certainly agree with the listen to live music part, though my tastes differ from yours. real tea is always helpful, too. looking forward to hearing more about your time in Lisbon.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I love your Blog Post--very inspiring. BTW can you introduce me to Melissa?? I think I like her list even more:)


Jeff said...

Careful Whitty - she's in Vancouver as well...

Jeff said...

Kerry - thanks for that. More to come from this city for sure, although it may be relatively short-lived.