Whilst we have been travelling we have also been working on farms, practising natural farming and permaculture principles. This has changed our lives, left us brimming with new knowledge and full of hope for the future. We will not go into much detail here, other than to point you in the direction of some useful definitions of permaculture (I’m sure most of you know about it already). We will be writing soon about our experiences on various farms and projects.
Whilst learning about permaculture we figured that if we want to live a life according to permaculture principles, then we must apply those principles to each aspect of our lives. This includes, of course, travel. This we have decided to call PermaTravel, and it is a philosophy that we will be developing and sharing on this blog.
We do not mean to criticise or stoke controversy. This theory has arisen from a frank look at the way we travel (and, yes, the way other people travel too), and a desire to bring it in-line with the principles we hold dear. Emma and I fall pretty far from hitting all of the criteria we discuss below, but we at least wanted to get into place for ourselves a set of guidelines to help us to make our travels more sustainable now and even more so in the future.
What you will see from up-coming posts is that since we have begun practising PermaTravel we have had a hell of a lot more fun , developed a broad and broadening new skill-set, and have begun to feel a lot better about things that we typically felt guilty about before.
We are not saying that everyone needs to change everything about their travels. But it is important that, as travellers, we think about these things. And if, after honest consideration, we feel incline, then we can begin to make meaningful changes.
So what is PermaTravel?! These are our first attempts at describing an idea that is likely to evolve (and hopefully with your help).
PermaTravel requires us to take a step back and frankly assess the purpose and impact of our travels.
PermaTravel is not necessarily long term travel, but rather cultivates an urge toward a sustainable, compassionate form of travel.
It acknowledges the destructive power of the capital-based tourism industry and is actively opposed to it. It deplores resortification and the forced assimilation and partial or full loss of local and/or indigenous culture. Rather, PermaTravel is undertaken in the spirit of a pilgrimage of respect and learning toward and from these cultures.
PermaTravel encourages the use of internal infrastructure in the countries within which we travel, preferring, for example, local buses to privately hired cars or coaches, hitchhiking over the use of tourist specific infrastructure and human-powered travel over the use of fossil fuelled travel. As such, PermaTravel naturally inclines toward Slow Travel.
PermaTravel encourages thoughtful and compassionate use of the valuable resources that the environment provides for us. It requires an attitude of disdain for waste and cultivates a creative approach to recycling, reduction of consumption and re-use of resources whilst travelling.
More than just a change of attitude toward travel, PermaTravel requires a change in the ways we travel, alterations (perhaps quite difficult ones at that) in our methods of transport, the places we choose to spend our money and nights and the things we see and do whilst in other countries.
These are a few of the primary ideas we have had regarding PermaTravel. We will soon be delving a little deeper, as well as providing examples from our own experiences and, hopefully, those of others.
What do you think about PermaTravel? Do you think we are missing anything (I’m sure we are missing a lot), and could you help us to refine the definition in any way? Get in touch either here or in the comments section.