Tip 1: Let The Light In
Open up those curtains and enjoy the view. When I first arrived in Utrecht in July, I was surprised by how many...
Close your eyes and imagine a warm place. I am really at a unfair advantage for this one. I lived in Florida for 20 years, plus I have vacationed on 18 different Greek islands. One of my favorite memories is from Skopelos, when I visited Agios Ioannis, the church best known from the movie, Mamma Mia. The climb up the 200 steps left me winded and quite sweaty, so whenever I want to feel warm, I just think of that afternoon. Bonus: I also have this beautiful photo. If you can not succeed at thinking warm, upload a picture of a warm place as your screen saver or background photo, or better yet, print out a photo, frame it, and put it on your desk or wall, so that when you are feeling down in the dumps about the cold weather, you can look at the photo and reminisce about a past vacation, or dream about a future one! What's your favorite warm place?
Yes, Greece gets cold too! When we visited for Christmas and New Year's this year, I actually bought a new coat (image at left), since the only heavy jacket I had was the one I got for Christmas 2001 before our trip to the Grand Canyon, and Flagstaff for skiing--I needed an update! Remember scarves and gloves too. I'm lucky; my mother loves to knit and crochet, so I have quite a nice scarf collection, with a variety of lengths and colors. Riding a bike at night in February in the Netherlands can be quite cold, especially when there's a wicked breeze blowing in your face. The first hat I owned in the past 20 years, was one that I bought when we visited New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I was so glad I had it during the three hours we were sitting in the grandstands. Whether you're living in or traveling to a cold place, be sure that you stay warm. Ladies: Leggings under jeans are my secret line of defense. Bought three pairs for cheap at the end of February last year during end-of-season sales. What new wardrobe addition can make your next six weeks warmer, and more bearable?
Don't take this literally. I do NOT recommend remaining in your home, and never venturing outside; however, I DO recommend finding fun things to do inside so that you can stay warm! I'm living in a new country, so there's a seemingly unending list of museums to visit. After enjoying the Designing 007 exhibit at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam recently, I stumbled upon this hallway filled with hand-blown glass droplets by South Korean artist, Myungsu Seo. The description at the end of the hallway indicated that through her work, entitled Raindrop, Seo wanted people to experience 'the liberating and calm feeling that nature can give'.
Rain is the one part of the Netherlands I'm still getting used to. I found I can't avoid the rain, so I'm in the process of embracing it. I have jackets with hoods, carry a small umbrella with me at all times, and when riding my bike somewhere, make sure I have a plastic bag to cover the seat while it's parked! (Learned this last one the hard way!) The misty rain that occurs almost every day is much different from the downpours and thunderstorms in Florida. I guess every place has its unique weather conditions. Unfortunately, there will still be rain in Utrecht when the next six weeks of winter are over, but I have the beautiful tulips to look forward to as my reward!