Welcome to LoST – the essence of supporting sustainable landscapes and communities through slow travel by walking, pedalling and paddling.
Perhaps you’re starting out, wanting to know more about slow travel and what it means as you walk, pedal or paddle around landscapes and their communities. Perhaps you ask yourself ‘How am I contributing to sustainable futures through what I do?’ Or perhaps you’re like me and see too much called ‘slow travel’ that forgets its spirit and essence – what it’s about in terms of both the art of travelling and the traveller’s ethics, values and interests. Either way, if we are to be slow travellers, we need to give some time and space for some thinking, some reflection, some re-imagining our travels, with the aim to travel within a landscape rather than through it. To engage with a location rather than tick it off.
For me, this type of travel is highly localised, with local benefits to both landscapes and their communities. I call this LoST – LoST in Slow Travel – and it’s both a concept and an action – we think and we do. The ‘thinking’ bit is really important as our understanding of slow travel by walking, pedalling and paddling, why we do it and what we mean by it, becomes the foundation for our journeys. The ‘doing’ bit is, of course, about how we travel and where we travel – guided by our ‘thinking’ and our understanding. My ideas build from my 30+ years of professional experience at the intersection of travel, sustainable landscapes and sustainable communities.
For me, an important part of this is what I call ‘conversations with landscapes’. In these conversations, we not only learn about landscapes and communities, but we also learn about ourselves as travellers, making a contribution to sustainable landscapes through our travels, our actions and our conversations.
Walking, cycling and paddling are means of moving through landscapes and engaging with them. They are human powered and, importantly, allow us to travel and engage very locally. It’s this I mostly focus on – we slow travellers with an interest in making a contribution to sustaining communities and their landscapes through walking, cycling and paddling.
This website is your gateway to these ideas, practices, values, ethics and the contributions you can make to communities and their landscapes through your travels. Here you’ll find two kinds of information. One kind is about slow travel, being a slow traveller, slow travel through walking, riding and paddling, and about landscapes and waterscapes we can engage with. These are the posts and pages of the site and they focus on LoST ideas. You’ll also find access to our on-line communities at the LST Collaboration Hub.
What you will find in them is the essence of slow travel and its positive impacts on landscapes, the communities that are part of them and us – the slow travellers who get LoST in these places. This is the ‘thinking’ and the ‘doing’ that lays foundations for losing ourselves in landscapes and our slow travels.
You won’t find how to pack a rucksack, or how to paddle a canoe, or much about routes. But I regularly find interesting articles and posts about these things. What I do is post these on my twitter and insta, using #LST followed by the topic. For example, if I find something interesting on cycling, I’ll share it via my socials using #LSTcycling. This is the second type of information on the site – the relevant hashtags which I use to curate information published by others. Look out for the hashtags at the bottom of each page.
There are two things I’d like the website to do. The first is to provide information on the essence of slow travel and its contributions to the sustainability of communities and their landscapes.
The second is to provide a space where we can discuss our interpretations of slow travel as well as our travels. Discussing with others gives everyone new insights into our ideas about slow travel and our travels. It’s for these reasons I’ve developed the LST Collaboration Hub – a space to talk about, and reflect on, our roles as travellers sharing a common desire to make a difference through our travels.
The website is organised around four threads of LoST – what LoST is about, the LoST traveller, the essence of riding, walking and paddling, and understanding the landscapes within which we travel. The links below are your starting point and we also pick up on these in the LST Collaboration Hub.
The site gets updated regularly with information and ideas. Come back often to see what’s new and interesting.