Balconies and Windows

This is not what I thought my next post would be.

If I have any regular readers out there, you may have been wondering where I have been. I apologize for the cliffhanger. The last you heard from me was in July 2019. I was about to move home to the U.S. after a three and 1/2 year move to Belgium with my family. My next post here was going to tell you how that move went and how repatriation went. It just took me longer than expected to get around to it.

We made the move. It had its ups and downs. We repatriated. It had its ups and downs. There is a lot to say. I still intend to write about it here, hopefully soon, while it still seems relevant coming from me. In fact, I was drafting posts about it all and pondering when to finalize the first one when, about a month after arriving home,  I had an unexpected health scare that threw me for a loop. Things slowed down for me. Rest, health, and family time took priority. Maybe I’ll write more about all that eventually, too. I haven’t decided yet.

Bottom line, I am okay, but to be honest, I lost my creative mojo for a little bit and have been trying to find my way back. I was trying to figure out how to write the closing of RB Abroad and how to frame and shape what came next.

And now here we are, facing Coronavirus. I am freaking the f*$% out. I am an anxious person on my best days. Face me with a global health pandemic that threatens everything I care about, I’m going deep into some panic. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about trying to find some distraction. Trying to do something else with my time and my thoughts.

I have been moved by the viral posts, especially last week, of people on “lockdown” gathering on their balconies, singing together or cheering for healthcare workers. There’s one with a guy on one patio playing keyboard and another guy on another patio playing saxophone, playing Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On which had me actually bawling. I’ve seen touching photo essays of people out on their balconies, uniting while divided, getting as much fresh air and sunshine as possible. It inspired me to make my own photo essay here.

It got me thinking about my travels and the photos I have taken capturing both patios (or as Europeans tend to say, terraces) and windows, mostly in Europe but also on other continents. Under normal circumstances we take for granted these spaces that connect our inside, private worlds with the outside world. In this unimaginable moment in time (if we are following expert’s guidelines and staying home) we rely on these spaces to help us break free from confinement, help us get fresh air, and help us connect with other humans at a safe distance.

When I’ve traveled I’ve often been interested in views of these spaces from the outside – how people use them and make them their own. I’ve found it therapeutic and distracting to look back through my photos and compile them here to share. Maybe they will give you a little distraction, too, if you need one. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you can enjoy whatever window, patio, terrace, or space you have in the world today.

*this post’s cover photo is from Koksijde, Belgium during a parade.

Beijing, China
Beijing, China
Beijing, China
Beijing, China
Gent, Belgium
Unique architectural details along a canal in Brugge, Belgium.
Simiane-la-Rotonde, France
Simiane-la-Rotonde, France
Arles, France.
The back patio of our Airbnb rental with a door to the village’s old school. (Cheyran, France)
Somewhere between Naples and Rome, Italy.
Luxembourg City Shops
Luxembourg, City, Luxembourg.
Lucerne Buildings
Buildings along the River Reuss in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Knyszyn house
A house in Knyszyn, Poland.
Old Town, Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw, Poland
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Caiazzo, Italy.
Bantry, Ireland.
Paris Street Art
Near the Sacré-Cœur. Paris, France.
Naples, Italy
Naples, Italy.
Nettuno, Italy.
Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka, Slovenia.
Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka, Slovenia.
Skofja Loka
Skofja Loka, Slovenia.
Walking along the Ljubljana River. Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Dover, England
Sibiu dolls.
A display of dolls in the windows of a Sibiu home.
Sibiu Eyes
They “eyes” of Sibiu buildings. Sibiu, Romania.
Colmar windows
Interesting window decorations in Colmar, France.
A variety of windows in Colmar, France.
Colmar window
A decorated window in Colmar, France.
Athens House
Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece
Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Neapolitan woman
Naples, Italy

I close with this woman in Naples. You may notice most of my photos don’t have people in them. I tend to avoid taking pictures of people without their knowing, just out of respect, but I couldn’t resist photographing this woman. She seemed to exude the essence of Napoli to me. People everywhere, balconies everywhere, laundry drying everywhere. I loved experiencing that gritty, bustling city. It had such a unique spirit and vibe. As I hear the sad news continue to come out of Italy, I can’t stop thinking about it. As I look through my photos and think about my travels in general, I can’t stop thinking about all these places and all the people in them and this crazy, painful tragedy that we are all experiencing together.

Wherever you are, take care and be well.

6 thoughts on “Balconies and Windows

  1. Thank you Rebecca.. the photos say thousands of stories about the families on the other sides of the terraces and windows. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I enjoy being able to share.


  2. Becky Outstanding pictures and commentary. You made the best of your time in Belgium traveling and such a great experience and education for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Uncle Mike! We enjoyed it all so much. It has given me a broader perspective on situations like what we are now facing. It feels good to share it with others. ❤️


  3. Great read and beautiful photos. I’m a little the opposite in that I take super detailed shots of things when we travel but that yellow one in the middle (Skovja Loka) would definitely have caught my attention!


  4. Thanks! There were so many great window decorations in that town. I loved it. It was hard to pick a favorite. Hope you are well!


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