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The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.

- Alexander von Humboldt

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Editor's Letters

Oct 14, 2015

Editors Letter. Issue 9. Autumn 2015

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Henry David Thoreau

WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

You can subscribe to the Outdoor Journal here.

The sky is a great blue dome encircling us. I travel, from Oman to Mongolia, Italy to California. Everywhere I go, the same sky, an azure that reminds me we are all on one Earth…

But this world is changing. Billions are clamoring for lifestyles they see on TV and the internet. They want malls and bars, smartphones and cars. In these places, the sky turns from blue to a frightening gray, forests disappearing and deserts spreading. Jungles turn to apocalyptic concrete sprawls and rivers to sewers.

It doesn’t really matter what happens in the Americas or Europe… Because if three billion people in Asia chose to start consuming like the developed world has for the last half-century, the planet is doomed. I’ve seen this happening, in the last fifteen years of living between the developed world and the developing, between Asia, America and Europe. How do we change it? How do we change human desire?

“Nationality” is an artificial construct. Today, we’re better connected than ever, yet free movement for most of humanity is harder than ever. This should be a post-national century. The outdoors is the whole world, our planet. Climate change is affecting everyone, whether they live in India or the United States. We mark lines of ownership on maps, but pollutants drift across the planet without hindrance from such petty notions, and oceans rise to swallow every coastline on Earth.

A Nepalese climber shares the same love of the mountains as a climber from Colorado. But why don’t we hear their stories as often? The Outdoor Journal is beyond borders. We look for stories of the outdoors from everywhere in the world and seek to share common human experiences that unite us as a species, as inhabitants of this spaceship called Earth. How can we change what people want? Through storytelling. Stories are a force for change, a virus of art, culture, emotion, desire and all that makes us human. The Outdoor Journal is not a magazine. It is a vehicle for change, by whatever means necessary. We believe we need to change consumption patterns and growth models in developing countries. We believe in influencing new generations of humans across the planet. We understand that it will be a long battle. But we’re ready to fight.

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Editor's Letters

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the new OutdoorJournal.com

A reflection of our new team and iterative process of regular updates to our design, editorial content, business model and much more.

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WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

In order to achieve our long-term goals, we’ve had to learn some hard lessons, undertake pivots and become more of a tech startup than “just a magazine”. I’ve personally had to go from being “just a journalist” to being the CEO of a tech startup, raise outside funding and relearn software development, nearly 20 years after I quit engineering school in Maryland to climb in the Himalayas, travel and become a storyteller.

You’ll start to see a brand new look to our website and other properties, as well as be able to undertake trips on The Outdoor Voyage (www.outdoorvoyage.com), which we’re also launching via trip pages on The Outdoor Journal itself.

Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy, experience and protect wilderness.

This is also an acknowledgement of the reality that the media industry as we knew it for the last hundred years is essentially dead, that nearly all advertising dollars are scooped up by Facebook and Google today, not independent media businesses like ours; as well as the fact that our readers have constantly asked us who the best travel companies are, globally, and how they could book with them. Our business model is henceforth evolving into a hybrid travel + media model, where a sales commission from a scalable travel booking business is what (we hope) will fund our honest, authentic and independent editorial journalism. Importantly, our marketplace side seeks to promote ethical travel and sustainable development in local communities globally – a mission that received a boost when Booking.com awarded us their second-highest startup grant award last December. Some links you follow may earn us a commission, and we will continue to have some sponsored content or advertising on our channels, but we will always strive to be transparent and explicit about what’s honest, genuine journalism, and what’s not – a rarity in most travel and outdoor media.

We’ve remained a family & friends-funded startup, but sometimes we pitch ourselves to investors calling it a future “Wirecutter for adventure travel” and other times, a potential “NatGeo + Expedia for Adventure”. Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy and experience wilderness. That is our purpose, and we will continue to build and grow towards goals that help us achieve it.

It’s been a long journey, and I invite you to retrace my steps by reading all of the previous Editor’s Letters, which can be found under The Journal.

Finally, should you wish to support our journalism, and everything we stand for, please subscribe to our print magazine here.

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