How to get a feel for Gezellig?
Trip Start Nov 29, 2011
11Trip End Dec 10, 2011
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Then one day, a travel magazine called AFAR arrived in the mail and had an article on the author's search for the Dutch experience of "gezellig" or "gezelligheid" (pronounced Heh-ZELL-ick-hide) (http://www.afar.com/afar/going-dutch?page=1) . The article piqued my interest. I love the sound of the word, but what does it mean? I decided to investigate this further.
What did I do with this travel related conundrum? I posted a question of the TripAdvisor asking for any advice on how to discover or feel this Dutch “gezellig”
In response to these, I wrote:
With each of us sharing our views, I feel like we are sitting at a virtual round table discussing “gezellig” combined with an approach to travel. Everyone, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve been reading all the posts with the comments and suggestions. It’s been a great springboard for reflection.
It got me thinking of how I would interpret the “gezellig” feeling. I think for me it’s a feeling of warmth, casual unpretentiousness, comfort of being with people I care about, feelings of spontaneity & going with the flow, being “open” to possibilities and new perspectives, no schedule to keep and living in the moment (and not thinking about what I’m going to do next when I’m in the middle of doing something).
This also got me thinking about how I really enjoy learning about a place’s history, culture and possibilities of sites to visit before the trip. I make prioritized lists so that those places or activities that I am most curious about or want to learn more about will be sure to happen. And it gives some loose structure to a day as it develops. For example, I have been studying compositing of multiple photographs into one fine art print and learning the compositing techniques in Photoshop. In preparation for this trip, I just completed a 36 session DVD course on Dutch Masters and the Age of Rembrandt. I was surprised at how much applies to the current creative process that I’m involved in. So it will be a kick to visit the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandhuis & Mauritshuis. For me, to stand in front of these paintings in real life (not at a computer screen) and enjoy the visual feast will be phenomenal. To walk through the galleries, no rush, and just let the experience unfold – well that’s a personal “gezellig” experience. And then to share that with my husband and friends at the time as we walk through the galleries and at a café after...well that all makes my heart sing. So there is a backstory for each site/activity that made it onto my high priority list. What they all have in common is that they capture my imagination or interest and are energizing and stimulating.
After reading the variety of responses to this “gezellig” post, I think we can all find “gezellig” in our own way.
And finally, one of the final entries:
“Well said Journeyer. There is a reason that gezellig is not translatable and that's because it is exactly what you do to make you and your friends have a good time. It's one of those words that if you asked a hundred people what it meant you would get at least 20 different answers.
One man's food is another man's poison.
Another ironic thing about Gezellig is that you can't be gezellig if you sweat too much thinking about what it actually is.”
Well, let’s see if we discover “gezellig” and how it goes for us in Amsterdam!
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.
Otherwise you will miss most of your life.”