Heartbeat of Zagreb

A Positive Spin On The Events Of 2020

One thing that many people around the world have noticed is that due to coronavirus we have started exploring our immediate surroundings more. With that, I can personally say, that I’ve found a new appreciation for my city.

The start of the year is often a great time to reflect on the events of the past year, our personal growth and achieved milestones. And what a year 2020 has been. From the coronavirus pandemic and shattering earthquakes in Zagreb and Petrinja, the past year at times felt like it was being directed by Hollywood writers.

Everything changed

There have been many events which have made last year one we will remember forever. Personally, I always try to find some positives in a sea of negative emotions and circumstances. So, when I reflect back on 2020 I love to also think of those beautiful moments that happened in between the bad days. 

Quarantine taught me how to really appreciate the little things. I created new, healthier habits, like going on weekly hikes to Sljeme something that I always said I would start doing but never actually did because there was never enough time. 

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

I’m sure you can relate and agree that during quarantine it felt like everyone rearranged their priorities and put themselves first for once. We will probably go back to our fast-paced life once coronavirus fades away, but I think the memory of this time, mostly spent at home, will stay with us forever reminding us that it is ok to slow down sometimes.

A newfound appreciation

One thing that many people around the world have noticed is that due to coronavirus we have started exploring our immediate surroundings more. I can personally say that I’ve found a new appreciation for my city. As I started to walk a lot more to avoid public transport, I noticed I would walk through some streets and neighbourhoods that I’ve never noticed or even walked through before, even though they are close to where I live.

Also, as I spent most of the time working from home, daily walks through my neighbourhood became a real source of joy and relaxation. As I still live in the same neighbourhood that I grew up in, I started going on walks to my old elementary school almost daily. Just like I did 20 years ago. It was kind of comforting to see that not many things have changed along the way.

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Zagreb – the green city!

While talking to my friends who live in different neighbourhoods around the city, we all agreed how lucky we were to live in Zagreb during this pandemic. Compared to some other European capitals, Zagreb is full of green parks where you can go and relax. You have Maksimir Park, Ribnjak, Cmrok, Jarun and Bundek Lake and of course beautiful Nature Park Medvednica on the hills above the city. Also, Zagreb and Zagorje regions have a lot of beautiful places to explore. They are perfect if you want to leave the city for a bit and enjoy a day trip in nature.

If I had to name one thing that was most helpful for coping with all that happened in 2020, it would be spending time in nature. It is a completely free and safe activity that you can do alone or with your partner and it will one hundred per cent make you feel more content and relaxed on those days when you feel overwhelmed and trapped inside your home.

Image credit: Boška i Krešo, TZGZ

In the end, I hope that better times are ahead of us. Soon our Zagreb will go back to its old and cheerful self with streets and cafe terraces bustling with people. Just as we know it. Till then we have all of its beautiful green parks to enjoy. :)

 Header image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Author: Darija Ilić