City dwellers often complain of not having ready access to nature. People who live in cities spend a lot of time and money driving to the country for recreation. People leave their urban abodes in search of mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, or just a nice bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere. Of course, there are plenty of natural recreational areas to go around, as well as a huge industry to support people who arrive from the big city.
Nature is Right in Your Backyard
Spending a few minutes with nature does not always require a long trip. In most cities, there is plenty of open space within an hour or two of driving distance. Although a lot of city dwellers don't recognize it, natural recreation is really right in their backyard. For some reason, a lot of city people seem to think a day trip to the mountains or to a nearby state park is totally out of the question. If they leave the city, they plan on spending several days away, often in far flung locations, and spending lots of money on travel and hotel costs, all for a little bit of a getaway.
Pack a Lunch and Take a Day Trip
These extravagant trips can be nice, of course, but they aren't always necessary. If you live an hour away from the mountains or the beach, why not just go for one day? With a little bit of advanced planning, you can pack a lunch and some snacks, plan a few activities or a long hike, and be back at home before bedtime. It's important for people who live in cities to realize that this is a possibility. If you continue to assume that getting out of the city has to be a huge ideal, your life may be fuller of city stresses than it needs to be.
The Importance of Spending Time in Nature
Spending time in nature is important for city people because natural landscapes are so peaceful and restorative. City life is usually very fast-paced, but in the country life moves along just a little bit slower. People who live in rural areas often find city people uptight or rude, when in fact city dwellers are, in their own views, just trying to be efficient. Efficiency in interpersonal interactions is important in the city, where people are more anonymous and there is more to do. For example, if you go into a sandwich shop in the city, the employees probably want you in and out as fast as possible because they have many other customers to serve. In the country, a small sandwich shop owner is probably happy to chat for a few minutes, or even longer, because there aren't as many people around.
Counteracting the Stress of City Life
If you live in the city, consider what impact the fast paced city life is having on your state of mind. Do you find that you are consistently stressed out or in a hurry? If so, you may want to consider spending more time in natural areas or rural towns. Just a few day trips to the country per month could have a positive impact on your quality of life. Once you start thinking of natural areas as just around the corner (which they are!) you will find that it's not too difficult or time-consuming to leave the city for a few hours.