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Rental platform maps out nature trails encouraging walk-and-talks with loved ones

Most of us are guilty of stopping mid-conversation to glance at or answer an incoming message; it's a stubborn habit that can weaken relationships with the people around us. To encourage everyone to put down their phones and reconnect with their loved ones, Natuurhuisje — a nature-focused Dutch vacation rental platform — has marked hiking trails in forests surrounding the village of Lage Vuursche in the Netherlands.

These Praatpaadjes, or 'talking trails,' were unveiled just in time for spring and feature markers along the way with conversation prompts like "If you could step into a time machine, where would you go?" and "Which qualities do you admire in one another?" Three separate trails are available through 21 June 2024: a 10 km trail for walks with friends, a 6 km trail for families, and a 5 km trail for romantic partners.

Praatpaadjes was developed by Amsterdam-based creative agency Gardeners.

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Praatpaadjes is part of a wider campaign by Natuurhuisje urging people to spend time offline yet connected — a direct response to a growing consumer desire. Beyond the proven mental health benefits of being in nature, the trails capitalize on walking's ability to facilitate deeper dialogue; the side-by-side dynamic is often more conducive to conversation than face-to-face.

By sprinkling thought-provoking prompts along its paths, Natuurhuisje gently guides hikers from small talk to the kind of substantive, engaging discourse that helps nurture relationships. The initiative spotlights the potential for brands to design analog pauses and nudges that counteract screen-filled days while connecting people more deeply to each other and to the present moment.

Related:Serving chocolate soufflé and conversation starters, a Tokyo cafe brings couples closer