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A Manifesto for our Way of Life

A Manifesto for our Way of Life

In the course of compiling Future Horizons Past, a retrospective of the books we read in 2020, our founder Tim distilled the essence of our reading into a declaration for our way of life.

This is our Manifesto.

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Adventurous Ink is more than just a book club. The books we read are a manifestation of our way of life, they shed new light on our experiences and bring new perspectives to bear.

This gently reflective approach has, for many, become the essential complement to a good-life lived in the great outdoors.

A way of slowly savouring our adventures.

Making the time to take it all in.

Coffee and a book by the sea

Ours is not an ‘anti-progress’ manifesto.

It is pro purpose.

1. We are at home out here – our species evolved over millennia to be at home in the natural world. We are connected to it in ways we are not even conscious of. But mind and body remember.
2. Go with the grain – entire industries have established to replicate the benefits of living harmoniously with nature. Yet more use nature’s cues to trick us into harmful behaviour. We must fight back, finding simple ways to reconnect and learn again to work with nature’s grain.
3. Deeper not harder – we are conditioned that improvement and growth are measured in speeds, distances, heights and grades. And yet true growth, true meaning, true benefit comes from going deeper. Not further, faster, higher or harder.
Reading after a mountain tarn swim

The simple act of immersing ourselves in the natural world re-forges connections which the busy to-and-fro of the modern world stealthily abrades.

4. The fortunate ones – we are fortunate. It is in our nature to seek out the calm and contemplation that the great wide open affords. We will find the answers to all the questions we must ask ourselves and others. We just need step outside. And ask.
5. Loneliness kills – bonds forged through shared outdoor endeavour can last a lifetime. It matters. Because loneliness kills.
6. The good of small things – by noticing more, about the seasons, light, wildlife and the like, we deepen our connection with the natural world. These tiny noticings help us be well and appreciate our place in nature’s grand scheme.
7. Bear witness – the wilder reaches of our world hint at a former profusion. A baseline long shifted; a balance long upset. It falls solely to us witnesses to sound the alarm. It is not the planet we are saving, but our species and those that exist alongside, or in spite of, us.
Walking towards tonight's refuge

As we make our way through the world, we must question the things we acquire and carry with us. Do they lift us up, propelling us onwards and upwards, or do they weigh us down?

8. Magical myths – the stories brought back by explorers and adventurers ring with truth. They spark inspiration and imagining. They bring new insights and old wisdom. They may even predict our future.
9. A compendium of companions – as we embark on our journey through life, we must choose our literal and philosophical companions wisely. For we are a compendium of them.
10. Telling tales – a life lived with meaning furnishes us with many stories to share round the campfire. We all need more tales to tell.
Tales round the campfire

When we reach the end, will we be content with where the paths we chose lead us?

Or will we be burdened with regret that we have not made more of the journey and arrived somewhere more meaningful?

11. Habit not will – it is a perennial challenge to rise above the daily grind of our busy modern lives and make time to discover the benefit that awaits. We rarely achieve this through will alone, so must develop regular habits that bring meaning to our lives.
12. Wild and precious – as the poet Mary Oliver said, life is wild and precious. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to thrive, not just survive.
Photo credits
Header & top images - Sightseers
Bothy - Liz Seabrook
Telling tales round the campfire - Mike Erskine on Unsplash

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