I grew up thinking that I was a big city girl at heart, that my hometown in Sweden was way too small for my big dreams and that one day, I would definitely live in either Paris, New York or London. A classic teenager’s way of thinking, in other words. Don’t get me wrong, now and again I love exploring big, vibrant cities where you feel like something exciting will turn up around every corner. But there are always a few things missing which I feel are crucial to my happiness.
First and foremost, it’s my need of being close to nature. With that, I don’t mean visiting a crowded park next to a city apartment. I mean, sitting in the middle of a big field out in the countryside, walking in a big leafy forest by yourself, or swimming in the sea by a long empty beach. Things like that. When I do those things, that’s when I feel at peace with everything. That’s when I’m able to reconnect with nature, and most importantly with myself. Without any distractions. It’s also when I fully notice and appreciate how beautiful our planet really is. When it’s untouched (not that easy to find nowadays unfortunately).
I remember last time I was England and had to make a stop in London, I went straight to a park and spent most of my day there lying in the grass and reading my book, secluded from the whole big city madness. I had the same feeling when I lived in Berlin. That feeling of knowing deep within that this is not where I belong. When I then decided to leave and instead go live in the Danish countryside, I instantly knew something fell into place within me. I felt inspired, content with myself, and safe, as if I’ve just come home. Never do I feel as at home as when I’m in the middle of nature, surrounded by the trees, the fields, the wind and the sea. As if they are all my family, and I am theirs.
Nowadays I’m back living in my hometown, Gothenburg, and it’s almost like this city is too big for me now. Of course, I do love having quick access to cafés, stores and other things that you can’t find in the countryside. But what actually makes living here bearable to me, is that Gothenburg also has quite a slow pulse and lots of nature around every corner. The fact that I have a big forest just five minutes from my house really makes all the difference.
My big city dreams have now been replaced with dreams of countryside living, and I feel sure now that that’s where my future lies.
I’m quite curious about how others see this, is there such a thing as city people/ nature people? Or do we all actually have an underlying, primitive connection to nature that some of us choose to ignore, but actually need?