‘The saddest thing I can imagine is getting used to luxury.’ – My Autobiography, Charlie Chaplin
Tommy and I had a conversation recently about how when you live in a beautiful place you are likely to take its beauty for granted, and that you shouldn’t. The conversation came up because we were wandering around Segovia (see my last post here) in a residential area which had stunning views of both the landscape and of the Alcázar. Tommy mentioned the quote above and the conversation got me thinking…
I have lived in:
- Milton Keynes
I never think of Milton Keynes as beautiful, but it is my hometown, I was born there and I love it. It is a city with a lot of concrete, however there are also a lot of trees, 20 million in fact, and a lot of green open spaces. It is famous for its roundabouts, its grid road system and its concrete cows. There are parts of the city I would call beautiful, Willen Lake is a very pretty area of Milton Keynes which is packed with people during the summer months (if we get the sun that is) having picnics and going for a walks around the lake. Campbell Park is another lovely area, a green open space where children play, people walk their dogs, etc. The city was ‘created’ in 1967, which means it recently celebrated its 50th Birthday! It is a new city. And it is home.
I moved to Bath in 2011 for university. Bath is beautiful. In fact, it is stunning. I remember when I first visited Bath for Bath Spa University’s open day and got onto the campus and thought, ‘Yes, I need to come here‘. It felt right. The city itself is also lovely. The old stone, the cobbled streets, the architecture. Everything in Bath felt right, it felt like it could be home. Luckily for me I got a place on the BA Acting course and it became my home for three years. I miss Bath a lot, and need to go and visit soon!
I shockingly (never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would move abroad) moved to Valencia, Spain in 2015 for an acting job I was incredibly surprised to get. I nearly didn’t even go to my audition because I didn’t think I would be considered good enough. Anyway, at the end of August 2015 I arrived in Valencia and everything looked stunning. The Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos), the old town of El Carmen, the central market! Everything seemed so big and beautiful because I was abroad and it felt like a holiday. In my first few weeks I looked at everything through tourist eyes. I appreciated the beauty. I will definitely miss Valencia when I leave at the end of June, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
So bringing my ramblings back to taking beauty for granted.
Looking at the three places that I have lived and have called home, I know I have taken the beauty of them for granted. I don’t tend to think of Milton Keynes as beautiful, so I don’t stop and admire anything, I’m just there with my surroundings. Thinking about it, it is so wrong of me not to admire its beauty. There is a lovely wood (Linford Wood) behind my house and I used to go for walks in there with my Dad as a child! In the three years I lived in Bath there is no doubt that took the beauty of the city for granted. I walked past Bath Abbey, for example, every weekend of my third year on my way to work and I didn’t look at it every time and appreciate the beauty, the architecture, the history. I just walked past. I’d seen it before, I didn’t need to stop and look. And now in Valencia, I don’t wander around the city and stop and look at all the beautiful buildings and sites I’ve already seen. I’d just never get anywhere.
So thinking about all of this I am trying to change my mindset slightly. I think we should stop and appreciate the beauty of the places we live in. I am not saying that if the city you live in is beautiful you should admire every little thing about it every second of every day. You’d get nothing done! But I do think you should remember that you are lucky to live there, and lucky to be able to call a beautiful place home. Now in Valencia I really try to not take being here for granted. I have been here for just over a year and a half and whenever I walk across the bridge in front of the Torres de Serranos I now try and take a moment each time to look at them and smile, I am ‘soaking up’ their beauty so to speak. This is what I think we should all do.
Just take a moment.
If you managed to get to the end of this post, thanks! I rambled on quite a bit there!
Where do you live? Do you appreciate the area you live in? Let me know in the comments!