Simple. Regenerative. Journeys.

Me, enjoying the view of the Norwegian arctic circle. Near the Tromsø Wilderness Center. August 2018.

We are living in a time of emergency. The urgency of this moment demands a different kind of thinking.

I was driven by curiosity while joining a cod fishing activity on a boat in Henningsvaer (Norwegian arctic circle). We went out to sea, and I watched most people trying to catch fish. I immediately felt I was in the wrong place. I won’t do it — that was my thought. I was not starving. Besides, there was plenty of food once we landed. Still there, I asked myself how many activities of this type these companies have per year.

My personal experience led me to reflect that we need to rethink how we can become more responsible as citizens, businesses, and governments. We need to consider how platforms, profits and products can harness to help people, beings and the planet in the right time of need. We must heal the Earth.

In this set, I have decided to share the concept of travel inherent in nature to overcome overconsumption and unsustainable ways — regenerative travel. It is a way of thinking focused on giving back much more than we take. That should be the approach for how we interact with the planet.

I see increased demand for destructive travel systems to be replaced with more viable, eco-conscious alternatives.

What it is:
Regenerative travel is about creating positive social and environmental impacts. By coming together, we increase the value we provide to our travel experiences while restoring, repairing and regenerating the communities and ecosystems.

Who are the travellers:
I came across around two years ago the concept of a new type of traveller — the Promad traveller. After researching the profile, I felt I fit in with the idea. Also, regenerative travel offers what the traveller looks like to experience while travelling or living some time in a specific place.

Driven by local concerns about over-tourism, Promads embrace conscious tourism, increasingly seeking culture-driven community venues and destinations that promote long-term, sustainable solutions to the rapid rise in tourism.

Travellers feel more conscious than ever of the impact of their travels on the environment, welcoming the emergence of a new attitude to travel. But it isn’t just about saving the planet. It’s about embracing new technologies, innovations, and disruptions when major societal topics are on the debate: over-tourism, demographic transformation, jet flight restriction, expanding connectivity, race diversity, and of course, gender equality.

Instead of acting like consumers who deplete the resources of the destinations, travellers aim to leave a positive impact, taking from consumers to producers.

Where once travellers looked to have their trips and journeys seen by a highly visual generation, the Promads want their travels to provide an extra layer of meaning, both personally and communally.

Promadic Travelers’ quest for exclusivity and wellness pushes them to explore extreme nature, using the great outdoors to build resilience, unplug, and grow as individuals or as a group.

The four pillars:
After researching and experiencing slow travel, those who believe in fitting in this traveller, we base our journeys on the four foundations below.

1 — Mission-driven with an independent spirit: experiences that generate lasting positive social and environmental impact for local people and environments. We are keen to immerse ourselves in hubs of creativity and innovation that are continually evolving, which means that no two experiences will ever be the same. Your interests or lifestyle guides your exploration and customizes travel experiences.

2 — Honours sense of place: anywhere you stay, you have unique experiences that reveal the essence of a place — shaped by local people, nature, and culture and contributing meaningfully to the local economy. The place’s unique wildlife enriches your travel experience — from food and design to activities and amenities.

3 — An ethos of service: you make every effort to select outstanding and personal experiences that are authentic and respectful. You return home enriched, reconnected, with new perspectives, and ready to contribute to local, remote or worldwide communities.

4 — Where your journey meets your values: you select places to stay that encourage systemic change. Once you’re there, you see shared values amplified and supported by the collective ground. You see yourself contributing meaningfully to the local community that enables people and nature to thrive.

How to put regenerative travel into practice:
You can start small. You can volunteer to support wildlife of a specific area or a local community, for example, indigenous community projects in your area or the places you stay in your travels.

When you must fly, try to choose companies that purchase carbon offsets.

Try to explore by bike whenever possible instead of renting a car. For longer adventures, hire a local driver.

Over time, you can build up to taking more ambitious action, like being selective about where you stay, eat and play based on thinking holistically about the environmental impact. For example, the materials used to construct a resort, the water system in that area, and other similar points.

Also, a few places that belong to a more significant community of independent resorts are starting to have membership programs, which means that part of your money will revert to local conservation or local communities, helping them restore the ecosystems. Some of them share local activities where you can participate and contribute on a social, economic or environmental level.

Travelling more often with this mindset, I feel motivated to offer my time, energy and skills to places where I feel rooted. It makes me think that I am supporting a noble cause and contributing to creating a positive impact on Earth.

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures •

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Alexandra Mateus

Alexandra Mateus

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures •

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