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Myth or Reality: The Dream of Escaping the City

Every now and then I take a step out of myself and look at my life. Every now and then I reflect on what it is that I’d like to be different. And every now and then I miss the smell of fresh laundry when you bring it from the outside during the day, and the comforting feel that slow early mornings have for me. And every now and then, especially then, when I feel nostalgic for slow paced days, I daydream about moving out of the city.

There’s a space inside me that would love to pack the cats and my boyfriend and some stuff and live in a small house with a huge garden, plus some chicken. I’d work freelance, do as I please, drink coffee in front of the house sitting on the stairs, cook super good food in a huge pot, and have friends coming over in the weekend.

I know I’m not the only one with such dreams.  And I know that most likely I won’t leave the life I have now, unless something very big and very important will determine it at a point. Because right now there’s an even bigger space in me that simply cannot not let go of everything there is for me here, in the city, in this life that is often planned a bit more than it perhaps should be.

And I wonder is  just how much of this idyllic life far away, with a garden, chicken and all that sounds so charming only because right now is just an idyllic projection?

Spanish photographer Juan Aballe asked himself the same thing when his friends started to move out of the city, and he ended up considering doing that too. His photo series – Country Fiction – plays with with the image of an idealized simple life in the country, and a sense of realness that is there once you actually live such a life, but that we usually like to leave out of our idealizations.

In his own words: “The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the myths and hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that I might never live.”









All photos © Juan Aballe

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