Do you remember the unconstrained imagination you felt as a child? As much as we may resist, we definitely become more jaded with age. Perhaps it’s just a casualty of life. But it can be reversed; we all have a five-year-old inside of us somewhere who still believes in magic, enchantment and endless possibility. In fact, if five-year-olds were in charge, the world would be a much different and more imaginative place.
We tend to look backwards to gauge what lies ahead. In the world of eco-responsibility and sustainability, the past has failed us. It is not a reference we can rely on. What we’re left with is our imagination.
As adults, we need to learn to see the possibility of creating a sustainable reality. Children are closer to nature as their imaginations make the seemingly impossible, possible. It is easier for a child to believe in an entirely different reality.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of working with an organisation that fosters and celebrates exactly this. The Earth Junkies Foundation (EJF) has worked with over 2,000 children in the past three years, from across the globe, encouraging and empowering them to build on their existing relationship with nature. They create ways for children to develop a practical fluency in how to live well in a climate-changing world.
I in the words of founder, Daréll Lourens: “Travel is at the heart of Earth Junkies. Aside from the incredible physical journeys we have been on, there are other forms of travel going on all the time in our work. We continuously need to find new ways to relate, connect, and share across a myriad of conventional boundaries. This requires imagination and empathy. We need to travel into new places and ideas both literally and figuratively.”
The Good Holiday’s (TGH) goals are similar. We have created a portal where we can all imaginatively learn about our relationship with nature and each other, distilling values through listening and empathy, inspiring personal and social consciousness through the highly shareable and inspiring eco- tourism industry. TGH inspires ecological awareness by sharing the experiences of responsible travellers and their journeys to ecotourism locations across the globe.
Imagination is really what fuels progress. It fuel ideas, inspirations and optimism. Once you can imagine something, it’s easier to bring it to fruition. There is a lot of imagination at play in the eco-responsible tourism industry at the moment. Many establishments and organisations are blazing trails and creating best practices for others to follow.
The overarching lesson here is that imagination is at the heart of change. If you can imagine sustainability, you can as easily achieve it – regardless of your industry or lifestyle.
Words: Paul Rubin
Pictures: Daréll Lourens