Simona D'Auria

Are you ready to log off and get outdoor?!

My first post, who I am, why I moved to Sweden in a little village in the middle of the forests, what I am so eager to talk to you about my outdoor adventures and most of all.... why you should read this blog!
Outdoors gear, camera, backpack, hiking boots on wooden floor
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Chinese proverb

Hello my reader! This is the very first post of my blog, the beginning of what I hope will be an entertaining adventure for us all!

My mum name was Aurora. When I was a kid, we were used to play a little game. I would ask her “mummy what are you thinking about?” And she would say “I’m thinking of forests that heal my soul”.

I didn’t really understand what she meant at the time, but I liked the sound of her voice when she was saying that. So calm and in peace with everything.

She was truly in love with nature, and she was used to take me and my brother to the mountains every holiday, during warm and cold seasons. We would have long walks on mountains paths and through the forests, refreshing baths in blue torrents and lakes, picnics among flowery meadows.

She taught us how to light a fire, which mushrooms were edible, the name of every flower and plant, the habits of the animals living on the mountain. In the evening, we would return home, put on our warmest pullover, and eat our dinner in front of the fireplace often using what we had picked up during our excursions.

Although she passed away when she was very young, I have learnt from her to love nature as much. And it was precisely my love for nature that has taken me here, in the middle of Sweden, where I can see Aurora again, walking in the forests or dancing in the night sky.

It has been a long journey before I could finally get here … one step a day and I eventually made it out from the busy city of London.

I guess many of you have at least once felt tired of living in the city, with its concrete streets, the fenced parks, the busy public transports, the never ending traffic, and … well you know what I am talking about … That feeling of not belonging anymore, when nothing inspires you anymore. My head bursting with negativity and my body losing all its energy.

I have felt that kind of discomfort every day for 11 years before my partner who is half Swedish, and I, have finally made the decision to leave everything behind and start a new life here in Sweden, in the middle of the forests.

Before London, we were living in Italy, near the Alps, where we were used to go hiking every weekend, so we have missed our long excursions during our London life.

Don’t get me wrong, London is a beautiful city with lots of green parks where you can wander on your free time, spend some time under the sun or by a pond relaxing after a busy day. 

What I was missing though was that feeling of being in the Wild nature, in open wide spaces, no fences, no roads, little human impact (well, possibly, we will return on this in my future posts ..).

I was missing the adventure, the long walks, leaving your car with a backpack on your shoulder on a path towards the unknown.

I was missing the beauty and the danger of hiking up on the mountains, organizing your excursion studying maps the evening before, preparing your equipment, checking that you have everything you need.

I was missing being able to truly log off and get outside on a journey with a few certainties but that it was going to be a good time!

I have a legal background and I started taking pictures as a hobby long ago in Italy on my mountain excursions, although my first artistic interest at the time was painting. I then left my legal profession and I have started working as a graphic designer, which I still do today, whilst I kept on with my photography activity.

I have started dedicating more and more time to photography about 3 years ago and now I divide my working time among photography, graphic and video making.

My partner is a software engineer and it is thanks to his remote job that we are able to live here on the forest hills just above Kopparberg, a little town in the center-south of Sweden, famous only because of Kopparberg cider, one of the best selling cider worldwide.

Sweden: Glorious sunrise in an enchanted forest
Glorious sunrise in an enchanted forest

It is from here that I leave early in the morning on my hiking and photographic adventures through Sweden.

I would like to take you with me on these adventures!

I will show you the beauty of Swedish nature, its peculiar environments, the endless enchanted and sometimes spooky forests, the gorgeous lakes, the mines and the mountains, the tundra!

We will be walking during the short, dark winter days and the long, bright summer ones, under snow storms and the midnight sun.

We will reconnect with nature and re-discover the magic wild that is still within each of us notwithstanding our tamed life. At the end of the day, we are part of one planet ecosystem and organism. We will breathe and roam freely … We will learn that going out on a walk in Sweden always means be prepared.

With my pictures and my video, I’d like to inspire you to get outdoor and explore the natural environment around you. You don’t need epic locations to re-connect with nature. Neither you need to go for long hiking tours if you are not into that. You can just seat in a place of your choice for 10 minutes every time you can, breathing and connecting, your feet on the ground.

I strongly believe that being in nature we are able to truly log off, to shut down, to clear our mind from worries and anxieties along with having a good time.

And that’s because we simply are nature ourselves, even if we have learnt to forget it!

Thank you so much for reading my first post!

Talk to you all soon 🖤🖤🖤



Simona D'Auria

Hi! My name is Simona and I am a photographer and an illustrator in love with the natural world.

I live in Sweden in a small village on the forest hills, where I moved a few years ago leaving behind the busy city of London to pursue my artistic activity. ​This has been a long time dream that I eventually managed to fulfil. I have never regretted it!​​

Nature is my only place to be, hiking my way to explore it and photography is one of the means I use to record the fantastic stories I am so lucky to witness during my excursions. Many of these stories also turn into graphics or illustrations.