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Appreciating Nature in a New Way

Posted by on Saturday, May 20, 2017 in 2017 Blog post, Blog posts.

This view definitely required a hike, but every step was worth it from the top

Vanderbilt girls are notorious for loving hikes. They all want to stay fit and fill their Instagram feeds at the same time. I dare you to find one who doesn’t own an Eno. However, their affinity for the great outdoors only extends so far. Americans in general have a love-hate relationship with nature. We adore its beauty, but abhor the lack of modern conveniences.

Take a moment to look out over the crystal-clear waters of the Aeolian Islands

Traveling to Sicily, I have been exposed to a different perspective. The Sicilians seem to have a more genuine appreciation of their natural surroundings. They respect the outdoors tremendously, while accepting its limits (like a lack of plumbing and AC). They live in the mountains and along the sea, but don’t  complain about the incline of there streets or the heat of the sand. These are things that Vandy girls – and many other Americans – would immediately gripe over. Furthermore, I believe that the Sicilians truly do understand the magnitude of the beauty of their home. I think they appreciate it every single day, unlike Americans who get bored and take things like nature’s simple beauty for granted.

These enormous rocks provide some perspective on one’s own size in the world

I have been inspired to adopt this mindset of unending awe. Every day this last week, I have been trying to appreciate the world I live in without complaining about its  inconveniences. Of course, this is relatively easy to do here in Sicily, where every scene is more beautiful than the last. But it is a change I want to take back home with me. I want to maintain this healthier (and less Instagram-oriented) perception of nature. I know, that sounds hypocritical coming from the girl who takes five hundred photos a day. But I’m not promising to take fewer pictures. I’m just promising to stop and, like a Sicilian, be truly grateful for the natural world before I start snapping.

This tiny sea urchin didn’t go unnoticed

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