Having arrived at Eden and heard about the vision of Tim Smit, I have become intrigued with the idea of journeys and how humans connect with nature through them. A large part of his idea for Eden was that it should be a hidden paradise. A lost world to be ‘discovered’ by visitors. Visitors get an enhanced experience from having to travel into the wilderness to get there, rather than it being next to a major route.
This stems from the idea that humans love to travel, it is hard-wired into our DNA- perhaps an early survival mechanism.There are many suggestions as to why we continue to enjoy and long for it today: for new experiences, to pursue happiness or pleasure, to discover more about ourselves or the world (Randomguru, 2009). Pilgrimages have been important throughout human history, where travelers seek religious or artistic inspiration through the journey as well as the destination (Paulsell, 2012).
The idea is, if it was right next to everyday life it would not be treasured by people or seen as such a special place, it would become part of the everyday. We long for experiences that are out of the ordinary. This has driven the idea of ‘the tourist gaze’ (coined by John Urry) where landscape management seeks to capture the attention of tourists.
Below is a link to a blog that explores reasons for traveling, as well as some different ways of traveling and experiencing nature, including through the imagination.
These ideas, although I have not directly considered them before, now I have been introduced to me, I can see their influence across history, society and landscape management.
Paulsell, S. (2012) In Woolf’s Footstepts, accessed 30/05/15 from The Christina centry https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-294506179/in-woolf-s-footsteps
Randomguru (2009) In my minds zen garden, accessed 30/05/15 fromhttp://carlosrull.com/my-home-my-ashram/
On Pilgrimages (n.d.) Transformative Journies to Sacred Centres, accesed 30/05/15 from http://www.onpilgrimage.com/id7.html