Setting aside a travel guidebook and interacting with the locals is my favorite way to travel. While in Oslo, a real treat for me, then, was spending a Sunday afternoon with the Nuth family, where I saw that families grow up connected to nature. As I sat on their first floor balcony, my impulse was to stop four-year-old Trym from climbing over the ledge. However, following his dad’s (Chris Nuth) lead of approval, I did not react. The little boy knew how to use the guard railing safely as a ladder to playfully jump down to the earth. There he ran a few laps barefooted in the grass in the common space. Typical family housing in the city includes apartments with common yard space, where families congregate and play. After Trym’s barefoot exercise, he checked on the garden, dug up a worm, and climbed back up the balcony. Then on our walk to the market to pick up food for our barbeque, Trym rode his bike. He must have wanted an appetizer so he stopped alongside the road to pick and eat a few edible greens (garlic mustard and dandelion leaves). This young boy had learned not only how to safely identify backyard plants, but also a lifestyle of connecting to the environment from his wonderful parents.
Trym and his little brother, Eirik have the advantage of both parents working in environmental jobs. They also set recreational examples to ‘play’ outdoors. In fact, their mom, Ann-Live Nuth had just returned from a camping trip. She and a friend wanted to camp, and made a game-time decision, packing a tent for just a 15 minute train ride from the city to the forest!
Chris and Ann-Live Nuth are role models on how to successfully raise children that care for the earth. I love seeing parents and teachers giving their kids a chance to run barefooted in the grass and play in the dirt. I was grateful to spend a day with a welcoming Norwegian family connected to nature. As my journey continued, I learned that the Nuth family shares a common link with their city. Oslo is an entire city connected to nature.