I traveled on Tuesday, Plane at 5h50 from Cork to Amsterdam, clock rang at 3h15 to make sure I am on time which a 2h30 hours of sleep. Everything went very smooth at the airport and during the flight, through which I slept all the way. I was seated with an elderly couple, probably in their 70s. It is nice to witness love and connection, even at that age. There is definitely no age limit for that! Which is good news and I won’t be getting any younger. When arriving close to the Dutch coast, we had an amazing sunrise (as you can see on the left!).
“Red sky at morning, sailors’ warning”
Travelling is always a challenge for food, I tend to consider travel days as free: “eat what you can and it is okay to make bad choices”. So as soon as I arrived in Amsterdam and walked, what felt like 2 kilometers to grab my baggage, I saw Burger King. It was really hard to chose which burger I would take at 10 AM. Do I take one burger? One meal? Two burgers? What if I can’t eat something proper for the next 3-4 hours of travel? Just in case, I needed food now. Happily enough as I couldn’t decide, I looked around and saw a shop selling fresh made sushi and I decided to go for that instead. It is quite common in France to have grocery stores with a small freshly made sushi corner, it seems like The Netherlands is the same and I hope that Ireland will follow soon! The sushi and makki have actually been very good, the fish was tasty, the rice too- so definitely a god choice to start my trip.
The next steps were 2 trains to take, from Amsterdam to Zwolle then to Zwolle to Ommen. Buying the ticket is quite easy, their system to buy ticket is actually very smart but then I had to find which train I need to take. Which turned out to be 30 mins of my time wasted looking around, trying to understand the maps and so on. I bothered some security people and seems their job was actually to answer question of lost people and someone was stopping them every minute or so. Once I found that my train will be on rail 1 or 2, I was quite relieved and moved towards to the next step. Then again, totally lost and this time there ware 3 people to help me. Basically on rail 1 and 2 there are trains every few minutes or so but they all go to different cities or inside Amsterdam. Some of them are going in the direction I need but not as far as Ommen and trains change between rail 1 and 2 on the screen announcing them every few minutes (or at least mine). I tall black guy was very nice and helpful, seeing I am a bit confused with the Dutch train system, he kept me updated on which side I need to be and he confirmed that it was the right train when it arrived.
I was in this train for the next 1h15 and had no time to sleep this time around. I mentioned a questionnaire in the previous blog and the trainer who wanted me to me to dig more for one question. I’ve been doing that 1h30 for the night before but didn’t understand what he wanted for me so I had to do it again, from a different angle this time. I was still unsure of what to do and instead of asking for clarification (which was feeling uncomfortable to me), I went ahead and answered the questions he asked me. But the questions weren’t there to be answered, they were just guiding me to want he wanted. I spend roughly 2 hours during the day thinking and answering to him and making sure I’m meeting the new deadline. All that just to find out that I misunderstood it again and that I have a few hours to re-do it properly.
Initially it was uncomfortable and I felt a bit stupid for not understanding what he wanted. But it wasn’t something personal, me thinking properly around this question is very important for this training and for what I will get out of it. I’m actually quite happy to have a trainer who cares enough to ask me to redo it 3 times instead of someone who wouldn’t care and just let me not have a full experience. The more I did it, the less confronting it was and as well, even if I misunderstood the question, I reflected on I what I want out of this training or in which areas of my life I want some changes to happen so it was all but wasted time!
When I arrived in Ommen after my second train, I was surprised by the look of it. It was a very cut scene. Lot of bikes, little train station restaurant with a lot of typical decorations inside, the day was fresh so some ice on the treas on the forest side. Still with the fear of not knowing when I could eat next, I went to the little train station restaurant. The waiter was a big tall guy, like the one you would imagine in a kids show featuring a typical restaurant in the Netherlands. Of course, he couldn’t speak a word of English but at least was able to understand Lunch so I could sit and eat something random out of 7 items they were serving for Lunch. It was of course fries and some deep fried things looking like sausages but filled with some meaty grey matter. The sausage looking thingys were cool, I took a bit of fries and just moved on making my way to Olde Vetche- last stop for the day where I stay until next Sunday.
The walk was a 10 minutes one, in the fresh cold air of the Netherlands. On both sides of the road, there was a lot of space for the bikes and I was surprised by the amount of people I crossed driving them. It isn’t a lie that The Netherlands is all about bikes! The village of Ommen is also very cute, mostly single houses with a bit of grass, threes, flowers and some gardens. It was an enjoyable walk and I love feeling the cold so it was as perfect as it could have been.
Upon my arrival, I was warmly welcomed by a few participants already there and the volunteers. I visited the place, chose my bedroom and dropped all my stuff. I had a long chat with the volunteer who gave me a tour, around who we are, self-development and what we are doing. A bit of small talk but not online and it as quite enjoyable, we shared some tea too. I decided to move in his room afterwards as I had a good first impression. Bedrooms are for 4-6 people mostly and I believe it would be interesting as we will likely exchange a lot of what we are going through here as well as what brought us here.
Afterwards I took a needed 3 hour long nap, a fell asleep like a baby I have to say. My nap was interrupted at times by new people joining in and dropping their stuff but was overall restoring and well needed. I was woken up by the cooking crew, announcing dinner is ready so I decided to go downstairs and get more food. We had some nice salad and stuffed pepper, overall tasty and healthy so not too much hassle for a “travel day” after all.
So far I could meet a bunch of the new participants. It usually started with “where you are from?”, “why are you here” and all that. People were curious about why I didn’t go through the basic Synergy training, which isn’t mandatory but highly recommend and everyone seems to have done in before. I had a bit of a weird moment as I wasn’t sure what to say but it went all okay. People tried not to spoil the basic synergy training (Event Wise) in case I will do it later but they learned so much and enjoyed it so much that I could see it was hard not to talk about it.
In the evening, I had to go back to my computer and the famous question 19 of the “Choice” questionnaire. This time I got what the trainer wanted, and I had 2 hours in front of me, so it seems manageable! I spent a good 1h30 on it, to make sure I cover all aspects of my life that I am happy about (that work) and all aspects were I want to change something (that don’t work). Surprisingly enough, I had 2 that are working and like 10 that weren’t. Most of them work quite well I have to say, but there is a big change I want to make so they went into the “Not working” side of it.
I finally went downstairs and found out that most people were in their rooms but a few were watching an Asian anime movie, so I joined quietly and during a break had a chance catch up on the story, so I could understand the last 45 minutes of it. It was good, Asian culture is very different and it is interesting to see what matters in their society and what message they like to communicate to the audience.
While talking with people watching the movie during another break, we touched on the topic of being a perfectionist. So as a loyal fan of The School of Life (I hope I converted some of you already :p), I shared a video: The Perfectionist Trap. I would highly suggest it to anyone who feels they might be a perfectionist. I know I am,and this blog is partially my effort to try to overcome that as nothing so far is as perfect as I want it to be!
I guess that was it. Most of us went to sleep after the movie, while some stayed to watch the follow up. A good night of sleep and training will start the next day!