How Forest Changed Me

I was born and raised in the big city of Jakarta, a city with population more than 10 million. You see building everywhere. Cars, roads, skyscraper, you name it. It does not really sleep even during the midnight. I thought Jakarta has almost everything a city should have. Until I move to Sweden. One of the very easy thing to spot: it does not have forests. Today is Forest Day so let’s talk about it!


Stockholm on the other side, has 60% of its area as nature (30% waterway, 30% green space and forest). While in Sweden, 68.95% of the land area is forest. [1]

When I move here, I did not like forest that much. I mean, they are all trees and they all look the same anyway. We have lot of forest in Indonesia but I did not get chance to visit many of them yet. Unlike beaches, seas, coral reefs in Indonesia that I always play with, with their different shape, colors, activities. That’s right, I prefer seas to forests. Then I heard about Swede’s hobby to go to forest. I decide to try it. And it felt like, a new door has just opened.

I always like to walk. It seems like I can think better and wider when I walk. Walking in the forest make me feel even better. The air is much cleaner. In Stockholm its already clean, but in the forest, it gets even more. Then the calm, the peace gets me too.

There are many benefits of walking in the forest. The Swede did not do it just because it’s cool. We reduced stress, prevent depression, make brain work better, lower blood pressure, get better shape, increase our motivation, and even prevent cancer. [2] That is what I feel since I start going to the forest more often.

I keep having new habits and thought about environment too. I start use less paper, stop littering at all, feel bad when I must step on a grass and plants, I even try to talk to the trees (when there is no one around, of course). I mean, we know they are alive and there is a research about plants grew better hearing classical music.

In Jakarta, I need to go out of the city to find forest. Lucky me (and you if you study in Sweden), there are always a forest nearby. There are 24 national park and over 4500 nature reservation throughout Sweden [3]. If I live in Stockholm and there is a forest 10 minutes’ walk from my house, I bet student in another city will find it even easier.

In this Forest Day, I wish people will treat nature and forest better and better every day. By preserving them, sharing information about the good of forest, having activities in it, and love them. If I like my house because I live there, then I should like the earth for the very same reason.

Happy Forest Day!



Written by Satu

22 Mar 2017