Gosh, wouldn’t it be awesome to be the only tourist on earth? Even better: the only person on earth? But only while travelling. Whenever I travel, I just want all the beauty to myself, especially when it comes to nature. For some reason I feel disturbed whenever I have to “share” nature with other people.
Unfortunately, this is pretty impossible. Especially when you’re enjoying nature in the midst of a city. A city like Geneva which is blessed with beautiful Lac Leman. But then again this is the perfect spot to proof yourself wrong. Whilst travelling you sometimes have to get into those situations you don’t like in order to gain new insights.
My stay in Geneva lasted no more than three hours, as I was just waiting for my flight back home. Therefore, this post is not that much about Geneva, but rather what Geneva did to me.
They day I spent in the city was one of those warm spring days end of April. When I got out of the station I felt a bit overwhelmed by the herds of people. I had just spent three weeks in a Swiss mountain village with no more than 700 inhabitants. The noisy herds made me feel agitated and even a bit grumpy. But well, I had to wait for my flight anyways, so I decided to just enjoy the time.
Immediately, I made my way to the nearest piece of nature in the city: Lake Geneva. Obviously, the entire promenade with crowded with people, sunbathing, chilling, laughing, reflecting… First, I just wanted everyone to disappear, so I could enjoy the lake and its surroundings quietly and in peace.
Realizing this was impossible, I accepted the crowds. Suddenly, something inside of me shifted: I started really looking at the people. I looked into their faces, their actions, their energies. I saw smiles, connection, tranquility and joy. The people who had gathered at the lake all looked so relaxed and happy. They were connecting to each other, to themselves, to the lake and to the sunshine.
Instantly, I didn’t want the crowds to vanish anymore. Instead I thoroughly enjoyed watching what nature does to people, the glow they get in their faces, the relaxation they radiate out to the world.
As a European, I live in a world where we mostly get to see people in situations of stress: they are going to work, doing groceries or getting to an appointment. We rarely get to see people in a state of connection with either themselves, others or nature which makes us want to stay away from other people as much as possible.
All over the world people are losing the connection to nature. And therefore to themselves. The cars, the lights, the noise, the concrete walls, they all don’t help us connecting to ourselves. Therefore it’s so important, especially for city people, to reconnect with nature. Those living in Geneva are blessed with a true jewel, but every city has a place to withdraw and re-energize.
I’m grateful for those couple of hours of witnessing this connection between humans and nature. Not only did it make me revalue the lake nearby my house (which gets visited more frequently now!), but it also made me revalue human beings again. Next time I’m out in nature and I encounter other people, I won’t be disturbed by their presence anymore. I will be delighted to watch how nature changes their presence.