Imagine having spent months and months planning a trip to the hottest big city you have always loved – from afar – only to realize that, once there, you feel no connection to it. Sometimes, our anticipation dictates the image in our head which we have about a destination. And sometimes we get so excited about a trip that we get giddy and cannot wait to arrive – only to be buried in crowds of people, surrounded by grey meaningless buildings. A feeling starts to grow in you that this is not the right place for you after all. You feel like being somewhere else. Then you realize exactly what you want: to be closer to nature again.
It is often very difficult to spend time in nature given our busy daily lives. What can we do? Go for a walk? Have a picnic? Jog around the park? These things are not always possible because some people simply do not have time for them. When we plan our vacation, then, we usually think about the most exciting, adrenaline-raising, adventurous places (such as a big city) that we forget to take a vacation at places that have beautiful natural landscapes and allow us to breathe and unwind.
Being in touch with nature
Being surrounded by nature is one of the most pleasant experiences we can have, but it is also something we keep forgetting about because life has a way of keeping us busy. Spending time in nature can reduce this stress of everyday life: hiking a medium-difficulty trail is great cardio, watching a waterfall tumble down some rocks can be entrancing, or simply resting on a bench by the wayside in a forest allows you to contemplate and breathe again. Nature has a way of quietly connecting you to it and making you feel better for it. Of course, it is not necessary to go very far to enjoy moments like these. Your next favorite location may just be around the corner.
If you live in or close to Luxembourg, you may not have visited the Mullerthal yet, which is located a mere 30-minute drive away from the capital and offers its visitors a plethora of activities and sights: Black Ernz River, Heringerburg Castle, national cycling paths, historic museums, as well as plenty of opportunities to spend time in and around nature.
But that’s not all: Germany to the East of Luxembourg invites you to the Rhineland-Palatinate, which itself is known for its lush forests, winding rivers, breathtaking vineyards, and a great number of castles – the call of the wild can be heard loudly and clearly here. Why not plan your next vacation to some of these regions? Or look around your hometown or home county – there is bound to be something you have not yet explored in terms of natural sites.
But nature is not just great for your mental wellbeing, but can help restore or maintain your physical fitness as well. Hiking, biking, as well as brisk walking has been shown to increase your stamina, strengthening your cardiovascular system and helping you breathe better. Spending time outside can work wonders for your health. If you are ever stuck with a certain problem, consider taking a walk. As Nietzsche already so masterfully reckoned, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
Helping the environment
Spending time in places that are specialized in giving their guests a “natural experience” is also great for the environment and the infrastructure of these destinations. Governments like to promote tourism in these locations and will invest in their conservation and maintenance.
In some cases, it even leads to the creation of projects for protecting the local fauna and flora. Depending on the place, tourism can also be responsible for policies of afforestation, which means to convert plots of land into forests, an important movement in a deforestation-oriented world. Of course, make sure to behave responsibly and environmentally friendly.
In general, “getting back to nature” comes with a whole lot of benefits for you and your surroundings. Imagine the health benefits, both physical and mental, you can reap by being active in nature. Or imagine the beautiful landscapes you may discover, formerly unknown to you, and the many photographs you can take while exploring them. City travel or mainstream vacationing may be a solution for many people, but like mentioned above, it is often forgotten that there is beauty to be found close to us, around us, and within us. Delving into new adventures is as simple as leaving your house and going to the forest ten minutes away from you.