The Spaces We Live In – how our 2018 family adventure changed my understanding of the effects our built environments have on our lives.

As I moved around Europe with my wife and 2 children, these were the questions I kept coming back to.

How can we connect with nature as the population moves to city-centric living?  How can we create spaces that feel free?  Spaces that have a positive impact on our lives, whilst still being convenient enough to work and live in?

Our experience of campervanning in the wilderness provided the ultimate feeling of freedom.  Getting back to nature, sunrises, kids learning through day to day experiences, bliss.  However, we found ourselves wanting comfort in an apartment every so often and this provided balance in our journey and also gave me a whole new insight into how spaces make us feel.

We’d never appreciated home comforts as much as when we arrived at a stone-built house in the Pyrenees. With a log fire and epic views, watching vultures circling for prey and cooking with exceptional local produce every day we felt like we had hit the jackpot.

The spaces we inhabited had a huge effect on our ability to be calm, mindful, positive and productive.  More time in nature left us more in tune to the effects of mobile phones, the internet, and the kid’s screen time.  However, we came to truly love real beds, dishwashers, decent WiFi and the ability to access work, education, shops, friends, art galleries, cinemas, music and much more.

I now take the time to recognise how places make me feel in order to consciously choose where I want to work, live and spend my time.

What would you look for in your ideal location for your work, home or a getaway?