Being a student, I have spent the last few years living hectic schedules, moving between campus and work and home, where I once again studied. Until very recently, it was a 24/7 kind of schedule. Travel has been an unexpected resource in changing my life to include additional aspects of the universe. I longed to combine my passions of studies and travel somehow.
At last, after almost six years in higher education, I found the way. Netanya, Israel was chosen to fulfill the goal: it has promenade after promenade, beach spot after beach spot, and being tucked away between major stars like Haifa and Tel-Aviv, there’s plenty of opportunity for some quiet times.
I carried a book, a notebook, a pen and a camera (OK, and a bag with water). As I walked to my destination I wondered: Would I be able to concentrate?
Won’t I be distracted by the sea, the birds, the flowers, the breeze or by the pure joy I was out there with my camera?
Fortunately, it was somewhat foggy and the sight wasn’t at its best. Surely that would help with concentration, I thought.
Nah, I kept on taking photos anyway.
However, better sense stopped me from going down here:
That was tempting!
Instead, I sat down here:
This was my view:
The sea itself!
I opened the book, I opened the notebook and started summarizing a chapter about women and aging. It was quite fascinating.
The birds were a distraction.
Danger! Landslide! Don’t look down!
It looked down.
Fortunately, it is a bird. It can fly to save its life.
Birds were abundant at the promenade, and watching them made me laugh.
“What’s that?” wondered the curious bird.
“Hmmm…. Maybe I’ll take a closer look….”, it pondered.
“Oh never mind, maybe I can find some food.”
The bird then went on to make sure I was studying.
Or so it seemed. In reality, it was posing for my camera.
Then there was one bird that looked down at me. I think it was ordering me to study. I rebelled and took more photos.
There were also humans on the promenade, very few of them, and they walked by there alone, in couples, as a family and in a group of friends. They spoke Hebrew, English, Arabic and two other languages I didn’t recognize.
There was one human who showed up from the sky.
These parachute folks are common in Netanya, a city that prides itself on providing countless opportunities for sports.
I saw him in the air as I approached the promenade. Much later, he came up to the promenade walking, carrying his equipment. As he spread it on the grass and folded it, one guy who was in the area started asking him questions regarding the parachuting.
It was interesting to listen. It turns out the guy was up 2000 meters in the air, where it was 8-10 degrees Celsius. On the ground at that time, it was 19 degrees. He said he uses an engine when there’s no need, and also, that when the wind ends, you’ve gotta go back down to the ground.
It was also interesting to watch him fold his equipment, as he ended up putting it in a bag that looked as though it could contain a sleeping bag.
Pretty quickly, he finished and wandered off….
I was left to my studies.
OK, so this is a staged photo. Most of the time, I sat on the grass. And I know it doesn’t look like I spent much time studying on this rare occasion, yet I was there for quite a while and actually got more done than expected. While I don’t feel this post represents it, I learned that fresh air and a gorgeous, happy surrounding can indeed support my studies.
Must do it again!
Here are some photos I took as I walked away:
Of course, I took a photo of another bird:
This is one of the entrances to the area, or one of the exists in my case:
I was sad to leave.
Yet I was filled with new energies, and I knew that I would return.
Have you ever studied or worked in a beautiful place? Do you have any tips for concentration?