Where the wild places are

Your ancestors walked great distances. They hunted or foraged for food, and mainly slept on the ground. Unless under shelter, if it rained, they got wet. When it snowed, they continued with life. They faced great danger on a regular basis, ranging from marauders, to wild animals, to infection from a simple cut. And mostly, they survived. Well, at least long enough to ensure you are here today.

You too are a warrior, a hunter, and explorer, and a survivor. The only problem is, you’ve probably forgotten that, or more likely, you’ve never realised it. In between loading the dishwasher, not visiting the neighbours across the road because it’s drizzling, and cocooning inside your home most winter (especially with COVID to contend with), watching crap on TV and spending FAR too much time online, you’ve forgotten who you truly are.

Oh sure, you may be an absolute wizard with pivot-tables in Excel, but there’s SO much more to life.

However, to experience that, you need to get outside. There is valid, peer-reviewed research proving how good for your mental and physical health green exercise is – you can read that by clicking this link, and also learn what green exercise is.

Technological advances sped up extremely, and vastly outstripped the natural pace of human development. Humanity went from the 1st powered flight, to landing men on the moon, within a single lifetime, and the furious pace of progress has only ever ramped up since. In between it all, in our near-permanent rush to go faster, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to travel at human speed.

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We’ve been relegated to units of production, kept insecure, so we don’t rise up, lest we lose our jobs. Our value is presented purely in monetary terms: how much we’re worth paying, and how much we can spend as good little consumers. Beyond that, we’re mostly treated as if we have no value, so it’s little wonder there’s such a massive mental health problem sweeping though society.

And yet, throughout it all, you remain as tough as your ancestors. You mainly just don’t realise it. Like Samson lost his power when they cut his hair, you’ve been weakened by having your links with nature severed.

Nature’s become a commodity, served up as nicely manicured parks, with paved walkways, benches and bins. If you’re lucky, there may be some squirrels living in the park, but that’s about as close to nature as millions of people get these days.

When you look at satellite maps of the UK, most of it is a lush emerald green. Nature is out there, and all you have to do is get yourself outside. Even if you lived in greater London, nature can be a relatively short train ride away for you and your bike.

The thing is, you need to choose to get out there. Nobody can make that choice for you.

Get on your bike, and go seek out where the wild places are. Get away from civilisation. Get away from crowded places. If you, get away from roads. Go step away from civilisation and get to know your inner survivor. Go cycle touring and cycle camping.

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You’ll want to thank me afterwards. Just go. You can do this and more.

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