Part ten 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 Mike.
He is my coworker in the local climbing gym. When we were talking one day he told me he was in doubt if he would want to start a gardening company with a friend of his or if he wanted to start the police academy. In the end he chose to start the process of becoming a police officer, I think that that will suit his personality. I hope he will make it through the selection process and live out his dreams.
Can you define nature?
I think that nature means that it must be somewhat green or a little gray of the mountains. I think it should be soothing and natural, because with an industrial factory in the background, I don’t think it’s natural. It can be beautiful of course, but for me nature is really secluded.
So a place where you can go.
Where I can go to relax for a while. Or to do some exercise.
How does nature affect your life?
It actually has little effect. I like to be in nature but mostly for sports. For example, I like mountain biking, through the hills here in the Netherlands. Or in the Ardennes, through the mountains. I think that’s great fun, but otherwise I’m actually not very much involved with nature.
What does nature mean to you? ‘Cause I just heard you say something about relaxing.
Yes, that’s true. I think that especially the sounds of nature I like to hear. For example my father, who lived on a campground, there’s a lot of nature around such a place. When you wake up with the chirping birds, and a beautiful view. That is a nice and relaxing way of waking up. I now live in a flat, so I have a view over the city. But I also look out over the beach and the sea, so that’s also a nice view to wake up to. But yes, it is actually more for peace of mind that I would come there. Plus the sports.
So, rest and exercise. Is that just physical, or is that also mental?
Mentally it has an influence in terms of rest. In terms of sports, it is physical. I don’t see any other effect.
What’s your favourite piece of nature?
Mainly the mountains. I really like being in the mountains. And of course mountain biking.
Do you have specific mountains that you think are really cool?
I happened to go to Canada when I was younger and then I went to the Rocky Mountains. That is such a super nice view. I think these types are my favourites.
What makes them different from, for example, the Alps?
Well, I haven’t been to the Alps, so I’m not exactly sure what the Alps look like. But I think because it’s really huge there and you have a lot of different kinds of nature in the Rocky Mountains. In one place you’ll find waterfalls and streams. And in another place you have a lot of forest and a good hiking area.
So is it the variety that makes you find it extra beautiful?
Yes, not so monotonous.
And then I have the last question and in fact you have already answered it several times. What activity do you prefer to do in nature?
Well, that’s mountain biking obviously. Sometimes I also enjoy hiking. But I am not saying that I’m mountain biking or hiking a lot. I want to do it more, but not yet.
Why do you want to do it more often?
Because of the adrenaline rush that I get from it, I really like that. I also just find it a thrill to go down a mountain quickly, through all the corners and doing tricks.
Do you mainly do mountain biking or would you rather downhill?
I actually see mountain biking as downhill I guess. You have the climbing up, but especially going down, that’s the fun thing about mountain biking. Unfortunately I have not yet been on a mountain bike trail myself, with those wooden things. But that is also something that could possibly come true in the future.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I do think it’s important, when I go to live on my own later, to not be in the city too much. So I also have a little bit of a view of nature.
That it’s at least nearby, that you can easily go to?
Yes, exactly. I don’t want to be on the border of the Netherlands and Germany, then I can’t go to the beach for example. I can go to the mountains, but not to the beach.