a new week, a fresh start

📍 Heidelberg, Germany

Don’t let the trivial nature of life become the most concerning element of your day,

Step back, look around, and appreciate the place.

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Switzerland: the beauty

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Did you know that we don’t have to destroy nature to live in it? The outstanding beauty of Switzerland is a prime example of the possibility of harmony between nature and development. The rugged landscape has limitations on where development can happen, but the unique character of the landscape has not been ruined, rather celebrated.

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In such a small country, there are a variety of fabrics that run through the country. The rugged countryside, dotted with small, preserved farms are incredible in their own right. These operations run on the side of steep slopes, and new buildings blend with the historic architecture of the land. The cities are condensed. They save space and create an intimate, colourful atmosphere.

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I learned a lot and was inspired by the design of their cities. As I live in a country where new development is always happening, and where physical space is plenty, the way we develop our urban spaces isn’t quite the same. Maybe new isn’t necessarily better, and if we could apply some of the principles of old European city planning and architecture, more farmland could be preserved and the natural beauty of Canada could be preserved, while the urban fabric could become a more accessible, intimate experience.

 

HTS: Part 8 \\ Enjoy the Moment

Setting goals is good, right? Looking to the future, definitely smart. But what about right now? I often overlook the present, and quickly push it to the past. As a really exciting experience looms ahead of me… I'm trying to enjoy right now. But how?

Step 1} Be proud of what you have accomplished. Stop for a second and think about all of the amazing things you have done in your life and the moments that you truly were happy.

Step 2} Now think about the daily tasks that you enjoy; the routine that feels safe. Being able to find the a sense of accomplishment in your daily routine goes a long way to enjoying the moment.

Step 3} Finally, think about the things that matter most. The people in your life you love, and the beliefs and values that lie close to your heart. It's with these people and values that you can truly enjoy the moment.

Remember, tomorrow will always be there, but enjoying what you have right now, that's what makes the best memories, and the most happiness.



PS} Stay tuned for some travel blog posts in the near future! 🌎

HTS Part 7: {de}clutter

Clutter. It can make a mess of your house, and also your mind. It's accumulates quickly and doesn't go away unless you take action. What actions are those? Well, sit tight and I'll give you a few ideas. 💡

I talk a lot about relaxing, and gaining perspective. But one interesting link around clutter (at least for me) is that when the physical space surrounding me is organized, I feel organized. Here are some easy tips to staying de-cluttered.

• Don't let the "stuff" hook you. I find myself falling into the vice of buying things because they are "cute" or because someone else has it. DON'T! Sticking to the necessary items will keep your living quarters orderly, with less things to put away (or display).

• If you haven't used it in over a year, get rid of it! Local Buy and Sells are great for getting rid of unwanted things, as well as donation sites. Bottom line is, if you have things around that you haven't used for a while, you probably won't use them again soon and they are taking up space.

• Baby steps. This may seem like a daunting task, but it's worth it. Don't give up, just pick away at it. Setting (realistic) goals for yourself will help keep you on track.

I'm no expert on keeping things simple, but I do know that when we keep our lives and homes uncomplicated, it makes for a de-cluttered mind! Being focused and centred helps us use our energy in the most efficient way possible.

Stay simple.

[ps. Maybe I should be a yoga instructor with all of these motivational words.]

A Visit to Barrel Warehouse Park

During my daily stroll, I happened across this open space in front of the Seagram distillery buildings. Designed by Janet Rosenberg & Studio, it's places like this that make me happy to be in the profession of landscape architecture.

As I stepped into the space, the street noise faded, the shade made it comfortable, and the water created a soft bubbling noise. It's this type of oasis in the city that is so important. They help us relax. They make us slow down. And they bring us back to nature.

I think I could try and explain the importance of landscape architecture until I'm blue in the face, but no one can really "get it" until they visited these spaces and felt it themselves.