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Finding Ways to be Outdoors in an Urban Neighborhood

When living in a city it can hard be hard to be able to continue to go into nature and experience the outdoors. I personally am someone who has always felt a certain sense of tranquility and peace when I am outside and by myself in whatever capacity that may be. Growing up I lived near a lake and in a very hilly area. Hiking trails were abundant and even when I did not want to go through the trouble of going to a trail somewhere I would often walk alongside the lake near me on the road. Outdoor activities make are a healthy way to get exercise and also a wonderful way to just let off steam or take time to consider what is going on and reflect on life. When the weather was warmer, I would swim, paddleboard, or go hiking as well.

I am now a student at Syracuse University, and it feels like trying to do any of these things is much more challenging. There is certainly a different feeling when I walk out of my door and am greeted with school buildings, busy roads, and street shops instead of winding roads and trees but what I have found is there are still ways to get those feelings of nature and have those types of experiences. When living in a city it may feel different but it can still be great to go for these same types of walks! What made me fall in love with it again is looking at street signs, restaurants, and the normal hustle and bustle of city life. Appreciating the beauty in these things is similar to finding beauty and nature and can be just as great. If you have access to a car, you still may feel like it is hard to find good trails to go to.

My advice? Talk to locals! As a senior when I first came to Syracuse, I had no idea where I could go for a walk. After talking to people older than me, doing some research online, and then eventually exploring for myself I have now been able to find some great spots. I didn’t think I would really be able to find anything spectacular in the Syracuse area but now have learned there are great places everywhere. For each individual person, it is important to do the things that bring them happiness and joy. Sometimes that may mean shifting what that interests may be a little like my walks through Syracuse or figuring out how to make sure you keep those interests by going out of your way to make it happen.


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