As I write this, I am sitting in a beautiful corner room at Farol Design Hotel in Cascais, a seaside suburb of Lisbon, with waves of the Atlantic crashing literally outside my window. The all-white room, outfitted by Miguel Vieira, a prominent Portuguese fashion designer, has the following inscriptions on the walls – Light, Peace, Harmonia, Love, Neve, Branco, White, Sinceridade, Liberdade, Lua, Paz… It all sounds and looks so calm and peaceful yet the emotional turmoil inside lifts me out of the here and now. The reasons are perfectly irrelevant but they got me thinking about the idea of being rooted in the place and the moment.
When I travel, it often happens that the moment vanishes in some personal drama I’m experiencing. This evening, I was walking through a lush garden in Cascais on the way to the hotel, doing my best to take deep breaths and take in tall palm trees and the endless greenery to get my mind off a million worries. Yet I must admit – I failed.
How is it that sometimes beauty gets lost on us so easily? In a different context, I would be in heaven right now, in this stunning room on the ocean, mesmerized by the waves, enchanted by the smell of sea salt… But the frail human being inside of me (or the spoiled jaded traveler, sometimes I don’t know which one) misses the moment entirely. Has my nomadic lifestyle got the better of me? I don’t know if I really appreciate the places I visit or inhabit or just the process of moving from one to another.