I’m publishing the following small excerpt that I wrote way back in July of 2015. It’s expressing some frustrations I was experiencing during my backpacking research. It’s a bit soapbox-y, but it’s my way of acknowledging my own privilege, and encouraging others to do so as well.
“I’ve been reading a lot of other hiking and adventure blogs lately, and they all seem to have a similar attitude about backpacking and getting out into the wild in general.It’s all about what it really means to LIVE. Something about going out into the wilderness without infrastructure or amenities is exciting to people and makes us feel we are actually connected to something; the earth or ourselves. Generally these writers are very positive, gung-ho (which is an hilarious term linguistically) about life, and trying to find a whole lot of inspiration about being out in nature and getting closer to nature.
As I read these blogs, my (slightly cynical) mind is hearing my Permaculture perspective’s voice saying, “Man is not separate from Nature! Man is a part of Nature, beholden to the same systems as the rest of the world!” There is a lot of glamour that surrounds these blogs, lots of excellent graphics, beautiful photography, beautiful people, etc. My hackles get raised when I see these things because I perceive them as being disingenuous. Going on these trips takes money, time, and privilege, and it’s important to acknowledge that.”
2 responses to “Thoughts on the Adventure Privilege”
Very important! I think about this a lot, how to balance my own wants and desires, what I perceive to make me happy and fulfilled with the basic fact that only my privilege allows me to live this life in the first place. How many people can actually make hiking for five months a reality… I don’t want to give it up but I do want to find some way to use that privilege and give back. Very thoughtful post, I would love to hear more from you on the subject. Not to mention this makes me feel inspired to write my own posts about the same subjects… I had been thinking about it for a while now…. I think it’s time.
Hey, thanks so much for your comment! It seems that neither of us is alone with these concerns. I think that a good number of adventure writers are probably pretty aware of their own privilege, but it does seem like there could be more of dialogue on it. I also have more thoughts on the matter, of course, but I’m going to try to pair my criticisms with positive solutions in the future.
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