Blog post

Summer in the city: 2019 pleasures to enjoy this year

By Joanna IK

Summertime is here and so is fun time. They have one thing to say: even in the city, we can start our day cool, having a simple dilemma – public transport or bike commuting, in the mood to explore the neighbourhood and spend time with ourselves. This year, there are 2019 pleasures to enjoy.

Start your day cool

It feels good to start your day in a childlike mood. To get up in the morning wondering what the day will present you with. To make coffee (a solid value in the morning) while listening to music. What is my kind of music? All that jazz! It is good to text good morning to someone dear and far away. To share thoughts with your diary just before you leave home.

A simple dilemma: the bus or the bicycle

If you are heading towards the city centre, you could take the bus. You may get the local news first on your way. Someone may be holding court, having a story to tell. There will be something interesting to hear and share. Time will fly fast without you noticing it. If you feel like being one with nature, you could cycle. You don’t have to be alone. Find a companion to make plans together, choose the cycling route and follow the traffic regulations. If you don’t have a bicycle, you could hire one.

I wonder how it is to commute on the tube, in a big city. There must be something unique about it. What do you think?

Explore the neighbourhood

If you walk to the supermarket to do your groceries, you could take a different route each time, reaching a different neighbourhood. You may be inspired by what you see and what you hear. There may be a bench on a veranda or a playground on the common. How does that sound? You could get decorating ideas for your place, the one you have or the one you intend to create. Have a break, take a note, make a drawing and carry on.

You may discover a coffee shop which doesn’t resemble the places you frequent. You could walk inside to check the place and just like that, feel at home. Share a good morning with the owners and see a new friendship begin. It could be so simple. Even if you consider yourself “socially introvert” like I do – a term I have recently come across and got to like. Your daily routine could be pleasantly simple; summertime is here to remind us so.

Spend time with yourself

If there is no place to go or no one to hang with, that is fine. You could spend time with yourself, at your place. You could finish the book you are in the middle of or write the story you have had in mind for some time. Let the sun guide you through your plans for the winter routine. Sit back and indulge yourself with flavoured coffee (a solid value throughout the day). It is good to remember to spend time with yourself.

In the cool of frappe coffee

This summer in the city

No, I haven’t forgotten those everyday problems. They haven’t forgotten me either! My intention is to appreciate the simple pleasures in life despite problems; what could make summertime more enjoyable and life look simple. Simple things that make us appreciate time with ourselves and with others. There are 2019 pleasures to enjoy – by the sea, in the mountains or in the city, in the village.

Are we ready?

Have a lovely summer!

About the main photo

Thessaloniki, my source of inspiration: the old city with houses resembling paintings; the picturesque alleys welcoming walkers and explorers; the mansions setting the imagination free; the cafes along the seafront adding a touch of vibrancy to the city.

Comments (18)

  • Lyosha

    14 June 2019 at 05:45

    Very nice list! I do enjoy going to the neighborhood I don’t know well and explore. it helps a lot when you can’t wait to go on vacation but for some reason you can’t/ me time is good too. Bicycle might be cool too but as it’s my main means of transportation…

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:53

      Lyosha, thank you for your kind words.
      So, you cycle to work. That sounds like a beautiful experience, being free to enjoy the surroundings.

  • The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co.

    14 June 2019 at 03:56

    I love summer days for car-free days when I can take my bike everywhere. In New England it seems that summer may never come this year though! Holding my breath for the rain to stop and the sun to start shining so we can enjoy the sites of the city.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:49

      Oh no! It doesn’t sound like the summer being around the corner. If it helps, in my town, the summer sun takes turns with the local rain. Fingers crossed, the rain will take a break soon!

  • Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    14 June 2019 at 02:04

    This post reminds me of the simple pleasures of time spent living in Dijon, France, walking to class each morning, stopping at my favorite bakery and fruit stand. It was wonderful, and totally different from my life in the US. Here, I live in a rural area, miles from the grocery store, and drive everywhere. It’s peaceful to sit on my patio, looking out at the woods, but oh so different than that city morning routine of so long ago.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:45

      Tracy, that is a vivid depiction of life in Dijon, France. I can see the French croissants and baguettes in the bread basket.
      Life in the US reminds me of life in Joburg, South Africa. We’d drive long distances to the local shopping mall and to friends’ house. A different experience.

  • Charmaine Daisley

    13 June 2019 at 11:57

    I love all your suggestions for Summer fun, but I especially like the mention of discovering new things in your neighborhood. This is the perfect opportunity to find and enjoy more of what your community has to offer and meet more people who contribute to making it what it is. It’s also a cost-effective suggestion as traveling cost will be low or non-existent. Great article.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:32

      Charmaine, thank you for your lovely comment.
      Your comment makes it clear how simple things can contribute to strengthening community life. Meeting more people, supporting local shops, caring for the environment, walking or cycling through the neighbourhood.

  • Live Learn Better

    12 June 2019 at 18:09

    I’m so ready for summer and looking forward to both family and personal travels. It’s the best time and free time to roam about the world with much enthusiasm and strength.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:22

      Enjoy the family and personal travels.

  • Snehal

    12 June 2019 at 16:24

    I am enjoying this summer having cool fruit juices which instantly makes me feel refreshed while quinching my thirst! I like the idea of exploring neighbourhood. I have never really done that. Sounds fun! 🙂

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:20

      Snehal, I like the sound of having fruit juices. June is the month for cherries and watermelon, in my culture, served with feta cheese.
      It’s never too late, to start exploring your neighbourhood. Enjoy it!

  • Despite Pain

    11 June 2019 at 23:53

    This is such a lovely post. The small things in life, very often are actually big things. We all tend to stick to the same routines all the time, so I love your suggestions of trying things differently to notice more than normal. I really love this – thank you for sharing.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 11:10

      Elizabeth, thank you for your kind words. And I love your comment!
      One change, a simple change, like a different route to work, could make a big difference.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    11 June 2019 at 23:25

    Almost every single morning around 5 am, I text my favorite person on the planet to say good morning and check in with him about his day. He is just starting his day and getting ready for work, and I am working away at home on a blogging project. I love taking that time for a break and to keep that connection going, when he lives 1,100 miles away from me these days. You are absolutely correct about enjoying the simple pleasures in life. They are the best and should not be ignored. That doesn’t mean life is perfect, but it is always the small things that bring the most joy. Thank you for reminding me of that, because it made me smile.

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 10:57

      Erica, thank you for the beautiful comment. I like the sound of “it made me smile” 🙂
      That’s the spirit: no matter what life brings to us, we can still enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    11 June 2019 at 20:55

    Our largest nearby city is NYC and it is quite the place to spend a day for sure! We tend to walk the city when we can and take in lots of people watching and some of the sites. I’ve lived in NY (not the city directly) my whole life and there are so many places I’ve yet to see. I do enjoy some quality alone time on a bench in the park to help me unwind. Enjoy your summer in the city!

    1. By Joanna K

      14 June 2019 at 10:47

      Thank you, Scott. I will do my best.
      Quality alone time on a bench resonates with me. In the summer, I’d take a seaside promenade, take a break, sit on a bench, grab my notebook and jot down ideas for stories. It’s the good life!

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