Driven by the desire for a more profound connection and understanding of the natural world, as well as her love of walking in nature, Dr. Erika Jacobson launched Edgewalkers in April 2016, which has since hosted a variety of walking retreats not only not only in the stunning southwest of Western Australia, but also in exotic destinations such as Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore and Bali.
Designed to inspire creativity and deeper understanding of oneself and their natural surroundings, the walking retreats feature a range of ecologically diverse habitats, from rugged coastlines and deserted beaches, to lush rainforests and flowering fields, harnessing the power of nature along the way.
Upcoming retreats include a two-day walk through the stunning Boranup Forest with renowned environmental artist Elaine Clocherty, the four-night/three-day Cape to Cape Walking Experience on one of Australia’s most beautiful and unspoilt coastal hiking tracks, and a Creativity & Walking Retreat which includes night photography where you will have the unique opportunity to capture the beauty of the night sky in Australia’s southwest.
Here, Dr. Jacobson shares the inspiration behind Edgewalkers, and how walking in nature can inspire creativity and a deeper sense of connection to ourselves and the world around us.
“It was during a long coastal hike along the epic Cape to Cape track, immersed in scented Boronias and Honey Myrtle, surrounded by swishing peppermint Eucalyptuses and low lying prickly Acacias (names I did not know then) that I came to realise two things:
First, I love walking. Really love it. It is an integral part of a creative process I have been engaging in for a long time. I understood, that day in Australia’s biodiverse southwest with the Southern Native Roses dangling red above the limestone outcrops of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, that walking is how I negotiate the edge between the world of what is and the world of what is yet to be; the world of the created and what is yet to be created. Walking had helped me give birth to theatre projects, novels, community development endeavours, a PhD…I wondered whether others also felt a desire to move more freely between these two realms.
Second, I realised that in spite of loving being out in nature I knew very little about the natural world that surrounds me. When I looked at trees I saw, well, trees; when I looked at flowers, I saw colours, red ones, purple ones, yellow ones.
I wondered if other people also felt the same. Whether they felt caught between the natural environments and our ordered and constructed ones. Knowing we originate from the natural world; that we have a primordial foot in it but realising it is the other foot, designer-clad perhaps, that paces confidently in the fabricated, structured world of social norms and cultural codes – the world we favour.
I wondered if like me, others were also yearning for a more profound connection and understanding of the natural world, yearning to move like Edgewalkers, effectively across the edge between the structured and the untamed, between the sophisticated and the primal.
Five retreats later, and many walks later with a diverse range of clients and testimonials and feedback, affirm what I suspected: that people are looking for opportunities to get closer to the cultural edges they yearn to walk boldly along – closer to nature, closer to their natural creative and expressive selves, an opportunity of having intimate knowledge and competence of all the worlds we inhabit and create.
Edgewalkers retreats and walking experiences offers this opportunity.”