Part eight in my interview series. In this series of blog posts I’m researching the impact of nature. I realized that I have my perception of nature and I know what it means to me, but I’m really curious how others think about it. I’m hoping to collect many stories. Maybe in the end I have enough material to make some interesting conclusions. But there’s only one way to really find out.
This time I’d like to introduce you to Anna.
I didn’t get to know Anna as well as most of the other people I interviewed. We met each other as workawayers to the same workaway host in Croatia and worked together for just over a week. The host is located in a beautiful landscape of forests, fields and huge amounts of springs and rivers. Anna is from Germany, but just like me, she enjoys exploring the world. She is however very spiritual and focuses on healing. I believe her goal is to set up or join a centre with like minded people so she can combine her healing with traveling.
Can you define nature?
The definition of nature, for me, is everything that’s not manmade. I connect nature for some reason, really to planet Earth and the rest is the universe. But nature for me is more like everything that is on planet Earth and is not manmade. I would say everything that grows, but then stones are not included. I guess they grow in a way too, or decay, or just change in their outward experience. Everything that is an offspring off this planet is for me nature.
Yeah, but basically all the things that we make, like plastic…
That’s manmade though.
It’s manmade, but its offspring of earth.
That’s true. But that’s why I said everything that’s manmade is not natural for me.
How does nature affect your life?
Without nature, I cannot imagine my life being balanced, beautiful and happy. I really need to connect with nature as much as possible. Nature is for me just everything. It’s the air that I breathe, the plants that I eat, the soil that I walk on. It’s necessary. I could not imagine my life without having a close connection to nature because I am nature too. My body is earth.
What does nature mean to you?
Nature means balance. Nature means relaxation. Nature means coming to my center point and nature means growth. Nature means beauty and importance to me. Nature means Everything.
What’s your favourite piece of nature?
That’s really, really hard to say. Because I had places on this planet where I felt super connected, like Utah and the national parks there. But I found out that water is really important for me. So having some sort of access to water, I really appreciate that. I love the desert and it fascinates me. Any deserts, the Sahara I’ve seen and also the desert areas of North and South America. I feel like I can really calm down in the desert. But to really live and thrive, I need water. A place that has sweetwater access, like a lake or a stream of some sort. It’s always very healthy for my body.
So a place like this for you is really comfortable? You get the water and you have a lot of nature.
Yeah, I really like it here. But also I love, because I love traveling so much, love to have the opportunity to also see other places.
What activity do you prefer to do in nature?
Being quiet. I don’t know if you count that as an activity.
I think so, yes.
Just being quiet, listening and connecting. You can do that while hiking, you can do that by rock climbing, you can do that by swimming. But I just love to be quiet. To connect and to see everything that’s around me. Rock climbing helps a lot because it really forces me to be there in that moment. But also, all the other activities are fine, as long as it’s like being quiet and listening. Open to what wants to be seen or heard.
Does it matter for you if there’s other people there when you want to be quiet, or not?
Well, it helps if I’m alone. Yeah. Or it helps when the people around me are also quiet, then it’s easier. But I would say generally when other people are loud around me, I relax more in nature than if other people are loud around me in a city. So, definitely just being in nature, in the forest or on a beautiful meadow or whatever has an impact on my well-being.
Thank you very much. Do you have anything else you want to add?
I think that most of the time, we as humans forget that we are kids of nature too. We are a piece of this planet Earth and we feel disconnected all the time. That’s sad because it’s always there, this connection. This strength comes from physical well-being, if you’re quiet in nature. And I wish for more people to realize that.