Welcome back to typo traveller! After a twelve-month hiatus I’ve returned. Time to set in motion a new phase of life and along with it, a new phase in the life of this blog.
As you might already have noticed typo traveller has undergone a name-change. From here on in I’ll be conversing through the mouthpiece of Permaculture Traveller.
Why the name-change?
Because life changes. I’ve changed. You’ve changed. We all change. Same same but different.
In terms of the ‘old’ name…
I’m still ‘typing’ – typing harder than I’ve ever typed before.
I’m still prone to ‘typos’ (there’ll be ample evidence of this in this post, as well as future posts)
And (this part is a bit more of a stretch of the imagination)… I’m still travelling.
Okay. I’m not. But I am. Bear with me while I explain…
Typo Traveller was inaugurated as a travel blog. A blog to travel with. It accompanied me on an epic journey overland (no flying!) from England to Morocco, and from Morocco to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia (…okay, I’m gloating…), Russian, Kazakhstan, China, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand (…still gloating…), Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and eventually ‘home’, to Australia.
Then… well, the buck stopped there.
For a time.
18 months later I am no longer travelling. I am the co-keeper and cultivator of a home and garden in the Obi Obi, Queensland, Australia.
And, I’m a scholar!
Remember how I fled Australia for India in 2007 to avoid doing a PhD?
Well, you can only flee destiny for so long. In my case, six years.
After a prolonged period of waywardness I’ve re-joined the academy. I’m an unconfirmed Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) candidate with the Faculty of Arts and Business and the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
So far I’ve completed one year out of a three-year full-time program of doctoral research.
The concept for my doctoral research is to write a permaculture-travel memoir about the flightless journey that my partner and I undertook in 2012-2013. The creative artefact will be called Seed: The Art and Mystery of Permatravel.
Part of the joy of conducting the research is that it allows me to continue travelling. In my mind.
Every day, my imagination sallies forth from its situated, embodied habitus within my body (which I leave behind, for practical reasons, in my writing studio), and returns to the places that I visited over the course of my journey.
For me, writing the memoir is an opportunity to imaginatively re-inhabit the places I visited during that journey – and reconnect, (yes… still imaginatively), with the remarkable people whom I met – the many WWOOF, Couch Surfing, WorkX and AirBnB hosts – and the diverse landscapes I inhabited with them: fincas, farms, cottages, islands, mountains, gorges, cities…
I want to learn more about those people and places, supplementing my experiential knowledge with book learning on cultural history, natural history, political history, folk lore, environmental anthropology and ethnoecology.
The narrative I will be writing is not only about the art and mystery of permatravel, it is about how people meet their needs ‘for food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way’, and how gradually, over time, people integrate harmoniously with their landscape.
Here’s where permaculture comes in.
The definition of permaculture outlined by Bill Mollison (2012, pp. ix-x) in Permaculture: A Designers’ Handbook is as follows:
Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way…
The philosophy of permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.
The innovation of my research is that I’ll be applying permaculture design to the process of researching and writing a permaculture-travel memoir.
What I am attempting to do is develop a blueprint of an integrated permaculture-writing practice: to develop a form, and a process, that works with, and responds creatively to the twelve principles of permaculture design and which exemplifies the permaculture ethic: ‘earth care, people care, fair share’.
The twelve principles are:
Observe and Interact
Catch and Store Energy
Obtain a Yield
Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
Produce no Waste
Design from Pattern to Details
Integrate, Rather than Segregate
Use Small and Slow Solutions
Use and Value Diversity
Use Edges and Value the Marginal
Creatively Use and Respond to Change
You’ve heard of people ‘doing’ permaculture on landscapes? Well, I’m ‘doing’ permaculture on a creative arts product – a memoir.
How is it going to turn out?
I’ve no idea.
But if you’re keen to find out, come along with me for the ride. Deviations welcome. Road-blocks expected. Delays inevitable. Arrival… a far-off but enchanting possibility.
NOTE: If you’re working on a similar project, or if you’re somehow engaged in the practices of writing, permaculture or travel, leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to. This blog is all about observing and interacting with what’s going on around me, and learning (graciously) to ‘apply self-regulation and accept feedback’ (the 4th principle of permaculture design). See you on the road…