Time in nature helps remind us that the busy nature of our daily lives is anything but natural.


Last night I went to a screening of End to an End, Patagonia’s new film calling for an end to the logging of native forest on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Majell Backhausen ran 270km through the potential Great Forest National Park to highlight how precious the area is. It’s a vital habitat to the critically endagnered Leadbeater’s possum (Victoria’s faunal emblem) and provides much of Melbourne’s clean drinking water, yet native forest is regularly logged for pulp and wood chips.

It’s a fantastic film and I encourage you to watch it once it’s out publicly, but one thing that stuck with me was a comment by Simon Harris on the post-film talk panel.

Simon founded the Takayna Ultra, which uses trail running as a force for change, and hopefully, the eventual World Heritage listing of the Tarkine Rainforest down in Tasmania.

He talked about focus, about the need to commit to one cause that you’re really passionate about and just go for it. About how choosing to do this was the catalyst for real change and impact.

We’re constantly bombarded with environmental and social causes and it can be overwhelming, even disenfranchising, to try to cover them all.

Nature reminds us that we’re not meant to work in this way, with our fingers in countless pies and a dull awareness of everything that’s happening across the planet. That freeing feeling of losing phone reception or honing your focus to just getting over that next hill, even just staring into the depths of a campfire, is more like returning to our roots than a form of escapism. It’s what we’re meant to do.

Social media pulls us in every direction, but as Ruby (another friend and WAE writer) told me, ‘It’s a performance’. It’s a highlight reel with none of the sacrifice on display. The focus and dedication needed to become a pro splitboarder in the backcountry, or even build and live out of a van, disappears in the vignette.

Our own environmental cause is wrapping up and we’re stoked that 237 of you pitched in to help us plant underwater trees. But if you didn’t, that’s ok too! We appreciate your patience whilst we made a lot of noise about something we’re passionate about. 

We’re keen to do business a bit differently, favouring sustainable growth and purpose-driven publishing over boom and bust commerce, and Underwater Forest Project was part of that mission. We undoubtedly still need to use social media as a digital publisher, but by subscribing via email we get to talk to you directly, which we love.

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We appreciate you, for coming back week after week, sharing our articles and posts with your friends, commenting and replying with your thoughts (and criticisms!), and being part of the We Are Explorers community.

Now please excuse me, whilst I focus on this tree.