Because we’re worth it! An exploration of some issues around a family canoe trip

Ensoll, Richard (2017) Because we’re worth it! An exploration of some issues around a family canoe trip. Pathways: the Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, 30 (1). pp. 25-30.

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Official URL: https://www.coeo.org/pathways-journal/

Abstract

This philosophical study explored the role of a specific family holiday involving international travel and a ‘wilderness’ canoe trip in understanding and potentially enhancing nature connections. On the surface an adventurous family holiday to North America may seem simply a good idea and if you’re looking for a justification L’Oreal has one ready-made, ‘Because You’re Worth It.’ However where the search for pristine ‘wilderness’ experiences is built on the back of privilege and carbon heavy consumption there lies some potential for conflict. This study explores some implications of a family holiday for issues of climate change, power and privilege. It is argued that although we may be ‘worth it’ our actions are made possible through access to the privilege of time, finances and agency and have an impact on the rest of the human and more-than-human world. The analysis explores the motive to undertake such journeys in terms of the ‘song’ of Homer’s Sirens popularised through canoeist and writer, Bill Mason and identifies an embedded wilderness/urban dualism. The study suggests that, attractive though the ‘song’ may be, this conceptualisation is problematic in terms of how it shapes the value we place on one place over another. In response to these concerns the paper considers how far personal narratives, identity and ‘leaving more trace’ might have a role to play in ‘re-storying’ our human and more-than-human relationships.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Pathways: the Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education
Publisher: The Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO)
ISSN: 0840-8114
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Rich Ensoll is a lecturer at the University of Cumbria with an interest in the power of extended canoe journeys, especially those close to his home.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 10:00
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2018 05:33
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2909

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