Writer, blogger, public speaker, lawyer – Lorelou Desjardins is surprised herself at how she reconciles all her projects.
Working full-time for WWF on plastic pollution, her passion is writing. For six years now, she has been enthusing people with her thoughts on cultural differences, politics and languages.
Raised in the south of France, the open-minded woman lived in seven different countries all around the world – before she chose Norway as home.
When Scan Magazine meets Desjardins in Oslo, she has just finished an appointment with a council from Shanghai.
Next on her agenda: an interview about what is called ‘friluftsliv’. A normal day in Desjardins’ life.
The philosophy of being outdoors
“Friluftsliv is about a simple life in nature, without destroying or disturbing it,” she explains.
“The real enthusiasts are highly trained athletes, but it can be as simple as going on a hike in the forest with
your family during the weekend, Lorelou Desjardins or going camping in the summer.”
In recent years, friluftsliv has been the word on everyone’s lips when discussing lifestyle in Norway.
First mentioned by the Norwegian poet Henrik Ibsen in 1859, this idea of spending time outdoors to improve
physical and mental health became popular when tourist organisations started using it to promote skiing and other nature experiences.
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Even legislation plays a part in encouraging outdoor pursuits, including the right to roam (known as Allemansrätten, or ‘All Men’s Right’),
which allows everyone to use public and privately owned land for outdoor recreation, as set out in law in 1957.
The youngest citizens are installed with the idea of embracing the outdoors, too, as many childcare facilities involve friluftsliv in their concept.
It ranges from forest kin dergartens to Arctic outdoor preschool concepts in which children spend time in the open air all year round, even at freezing temperatures.
“While I was learning how to walk on the pavements in Paris, Norwegians were probably mastering their skiing techniques on some frozen lake in Norway,” Desjardins says.
For Desjardins, friluftsliv was the reason to settle in Norway. “When I came here ten years ago, I was a workaholic city girl aged 25.
If I had a few days off, I would probably have visited another capital city.” In Norway, this lifestyle was greeted with a lack of comprehension.
“To show how committed I was to my job, I used to stay very late in the office.
There was one sunny day when my CEO told me to leave the office right away. That was incredible to me.
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