We often get caught up in the ups and downs of life, taking for granted the everyday little things that have the potential to make us happy if only we stop and appreciate them. As travellers, there’s often the danger to put pressure on trips to constantly be exciting, out of the ordinary and to always reveal something new about life or about ourselves. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes we might not get that big epiphany that completely changes our world perspective. Sometimes we get a quiet reassurance that life can be completely and incredibly breath-taking.
In terms of truly taking in a city and its vibe, our trip to Oslo has been one of our most successful. There is a vibe about Oslo that is difficult to describe. It’s clean, it’s laid back but most importantly there is a clear and unavoidable positivity in the air. People in Norway are happy; they’ve learned to take joy in the little things. Bike rides across the boat yard, fishing out onto the fjord and going on walks around beautiful woodland and lakes. After only spending a few days in Oslo, it became clear to us that the Norwegian way of life includes an intense connection with nature.
Living in a big city doesn’t mean you must give up on your connection with the natural world. It’s healthy to take a step away from manmade monuments and look at examples of intense power not created by man. Mountains, vast woods and lakes all remind us that there is always something out there bigger than the human construct we find ourselves in. When you look out onto the vast expanse of the ocean or stare up at a snow-capped mountain towering above you, your problems and everyday worries suddenly don’t seem as important. Work stresses, family and relationship pressures lose their potency when taking in the beauty of an old and warped tree. Nature provides with relief. It provides us with quiet reassurance.
This year so far has been one of the busiest of my life. I moved house, graduated university, travelled to nine different countries (and still counting!), moved over to full time work and faced personal struggles with regards to my next move in life. If going to Oslo has taught me anything it’s that it’s vitally important to keep our connection with that which keeps us grounded. Norway reminded me of what my body needs to remain healthy and what my mind requires to be happy and to always try and integrate the natural world in our heavily processed world of technology and industry that can, at times, leave us feeling lost. It’s been a positive reminder in my life that struggles, whilst a part of life, do not define our lives and to always remember that the present does not remain that way for long.