Guest contribution by Michiel de Koning.
After being in the French Alps for two days our ‘karavaan’ left for Barcelona. The difference between the profound sense of belonging in the quiet mountains and the fast pace of Barcelona’s city life was immense. Spending only one night there we went out on our longboards to play at the boulevard. Riding downhill with the wind blowing in our faces, the thrill of going 25 km/h without knowing a way to slow down, but to jump off and hope our legs can keep the pace. The amount of fun we had in this big city, taking the risks and just playing like children manifested itself in an insight later on. This insight is the fact that play is so inherent to having fun that I need to integrate it into my life in order to have a thriving lifestyle. Play is great because it is independent of time and place, therefore we have the freedom to play in all forms with the people who are there.
However, inherent to play is that it is an activity you do with others. During this trip, we are with four friends and that makes it easy to play. Surfing, hiking, long boarding, partying, a game of hearts, all of those things are in my experience more fun if I do it with people I like. The insight that playing is inherent for a thriving lifestyle is not completely new of course; children seem to thrive when they have time to play, so the challenge is to increase the amount of play over your lifetime, instead of decreasing it as soon as you reach adulthood.
To conclude, being more connected with nature is important for a thriving lifestyle as I wrote in my first blog, and this is dependent on time and place. But playing seems to be as important a factor. I am lucky enough to love playing outside – in nature – by surfing, running, swimming, hiking, and long boarding for example. Ultimately this is the best of both worlds.
Stay tuned for my final blog about the quest for a thriving lifestyle during our workation expedition with the @KantoorKaravaan, made possible by @seats2meet.