We’re in the outskirts of my beloved forest, in an unobstructed spot overlooking Lucerne. An icy wind hits my bare skin. Am I out of my mind? Only a week ago I was sick, drinking liters of tea per day and clutching a heat pack to my tummy. But here I am, taking off my jacket, dress and bra in a swift movement. Biting cold receives me. Liberation.

I’m not only shedding my clothes, but also the inhibition and fears that have accompanied me for the longest time. This place makes me feel whole.

Besides my love, there’s not a single soul in sight. The beautiful trees tower into the grey mass above us. White innocence covers the earth, protecting me from the ugly thorns that have scratched me so often. But at the same time, my foothold disappears under this whiteness. Traitorous innocence.

Away from the noisy streets, nature’s music is audible. The wind howls in the tall trees, leaves rustles and branches crackle.

This is home.

I wish I had spent my childhood climbing on trees and getting myself dirty, playing in the forest and running through fields. But I grew up being a lazy stay-at-home, rarely leaving the comfort of my own four walls. On many days, I’m still a couch potato today. But I’m working on it.

Being here is therapeutic. Maybe it’s just a new outlet for the tiny self-destructive part of me, but I crave these intense feelings, and at least this has a creative end (compared to binge eating or self-harm).

Life is not supposed to be lived in a sheltered little room. At least not mine. The yellowish skin of my arms slowly turns red, the cold is aggressive now. I can hardly think straight, can barely move my fingers. We finally get the shots we need and I hurry over to my love, into his warm embrace.

This is it. The forest, the cold on my bare skin, the snow, Lucerne – and, of course, my love with me. I feel alive.

Speaking of the beauty and power of nature – my friend and fellow blogger Josh from The Jaguar And Its Allies has the incredible opportunity to conduct a valuable research on people’s belief about jaguars in Guyana, a country in South America, this year.

As the name says, Josh’s blog is about the conservation of big cats with a focus on the jaguar. Not only is their habitat shrinking dangerously – people hunt them, too. However, when we protect the big cats, we also protect the ecosystem they live in; in this case the tropical rainforest.

Josh and I found each other’s blogs one year ago and through his thoughtful comments (that have managed to move me to tears) I didn’t only learn more about myself and found an estimated friend in him, but also realised that he really knows a lot about the human mind. I believe in the work he’s doing and am sure that he’s going to do an amazing job in Guyana.

However, to get there, he needs our financial support. It’d be amazing if you could help him out, giving him the opportunity to do something good for the jaguars and ultimately also for the world we live in. It doesn’t matter how much you can afford to give, every amount counts. I’ve already made a contribution and I know that Josh will appreciate your generosity wholeheartedly. Let’s do something to make this world a better place.

Click here to learn more!

      1. Thank you very much, Arielle! :) haha I want to push myself more in the future :D I hope you’re fine! <3

    1. Thanks so much for the support, Monika! And -3° C is really cold! I’m impressed that you had the courage to take off your clothes in that weather!

      1. You’re welcome, Josh, I owe you that! :) haha I have to admit it was a bit crazy

    1. Wonderful picture and great sentiments behind your words – hope 2017 will be a good one for you.

      1. Thank you very much, Nik! I hope 2017 will be great for you and your family too, take care! :)

    1. I love this! I was also very introverted as a kid, and I work towards enjoying nature more and not staying in my room too much. My long distance love is the one who taught me to enjoy nature :)

      1. oh, good to know I’m not alone with that :D and I’m glad to hear that your love taught you to enjoy nature! <3

    1. A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Beautiful post. Keep on seeking out the wild places in nature and in yourself.

    1. You are the only person in the photo so I ask you this, “how does it feels when the cold doesn’t feel cold but warm.” Remember, Think, Feel, and then answer ;)

Let me know what you think!

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