Views #1318 | Intermediate (B2)

Island Beauty vs City Fun

Mark and Sorie compare living in the city and on an island and what they prefer.

Mark: It's funny when we lived in Ogasawara though, isn't it? There were so many positive things but there is also certain things we missed. But firstly, can you recall any of those really, really special positive things that felt when you lived there?

Sorie: It was just a very peaceful lifestyle, very connected to nature. The beaches were gorgeous. The weather was really nice. People were very warm, but yeah, after last year, that was the hardest for me. I started to miss so many things about living in mainland Japan.

Mark: What kind of things did you miss?

Sorie: I missed going to the movies, going to a café and sitting down and reading books and reading magazines, and all of that that comes with a big city, the cultural aspects of it.

What about you? What did you miss?

Mark: Yeah, those things like everything was so naturally confined, so you could—the entertainment, you knew what was going to happen. So when we came back to mainland Japan, they're so unpredictable, you could, as you say, go for a drive or take a train and stumble across some café or some restaurant that you've never seen before and go in and you're anonymous and they had a menu that you never seen before. And you could sit there and then read and enjoy that. And it was impossible to enjoy that in Ogasawara, to do such things. And there certainly wasn't any cinemas or anything like that or shopping centers or modern things.

Sorie: Would you like to go back?

Mark: I'd love to go back there because the community was so strong and so solid. And it felt—I wasn't born there and I'm not even Japanese but I felt completely like I was in my hometown every time I was there and totally accepted in the place and in the community.

But as we found out since we've left there, the world is huge and there's so many communities and so many places all over the world. And I could go back, but I could go to a new place equally. How about you?

Sorie: Personally, I found it too difficult to live so close to nature. I'd say that was a great experience but I wouldn't do it again.

Mark: You wouldn't like to live so close to nature anymore.

Sorie: In an island. Yeah, that's one of the things that made it so difficult. But overall, it was a wonderful experience and I recommend people to go there and see all the beautiful nature that Ogasawara has.

Mark: Such nice memories.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

connected to nature


We felt connected to nature.

When you are connected to nature, it is a part of your life. Notice the following:

  1. In the countryside, I feel connected to nature.
  2. You do not feel connected to nature in a big city.



I like the cultural aspects of it.

An aspect is one part of connected or similar things. Notice the following:

  1. Stretching is one aspect of fitness people overlook.
  2. Spending time with family is one aspect of a happy life.



They're so unpredictable.

If something is unpredictable, you are unsure how it will act in the future. Notice the following:

  1. The future is unpredictable.
  2. The market is very unpredictable. You do not know what it will do.

stumble across


We stumbled across a nice café.

When you stumble across something, you find it by accident. Notice the following:

  1. I stumbled across some old photos in the attic.
  2. We stumbled across a nice Thai restaurant.



You go in and you're anonymous.

When you are anonymous, people do not know whe you are. Notice the following:

  1. It is hard to be anonymous with social media these days.
  2. In the city, it is easy to be anonymous.

totally accepted


I was totally accepted.

When you are totally accepted, people support you within their group. Notice the following:

  1. I feel totally accepted at my new job.
  2. As a foreigner, I was never totally accepted.

Vocabulary Quiz

connected • stumbled • accepted
anonymous • unpredictable • aspect
  1. That is one I did not think about.
  2. The letter was written by an person.
  3. We just across a great new shop.
  4. Fisherman feel to the sea.
  5. The weather is so this month.
  6. He was just into college.

Related Lessons

1317 Mother / Father Island
#1317 Mother / Father Island
Living in very basic conditions.
Video 1318
Could you live on a secluded island?
1406 20 Years Abroad
Video 1429
Would you like to visit Indonesia?

Other Lessons

1320 Being Different
#1320 Being Different
Thinking differently from others.
1319 Memories of Canada
#1319 Memories of Canada
First memories of Canada.
1316 Soups and Salads
#1316 Soups and Salads
Shirley's favorite restaurant.


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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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