Nowhere: Writing about Nature Around You

by Jake Quirke

Palin. Attenborough. Wordsworth. Blake. Shackleton. Emerson. What these nature writers have in common is something I feel unable to match. Their devotion and need to travel, write, explore, and detail wildlife is unmatched. Their nature writing is ready and waiting at the click of a button; their unmatched portrayal of their worlds is ready to be seen by anyone without having to step outside.

So, what is the point in my desire to travel to South America, to conserve wildlife throughout my county, and to write about the ever-changing wonders of the world? There is no point when everything that can be said has been said by these writers!


What travellers, conservationists and media moguls miss is what is immediately in front of them. What do I mean? I mean ‘nowhere’: Writing about nature and travel without having to buy a plane ticket or think about the significance a name has on a natural occurrence.

Nowhere. And Everywhere.
woman writing outdoors in city
Look, there it is! Or is not! Open your door and a lifetime of ‘nature’ opens up. Just opening your door gives you a lifetime to witness. Every leaf: originality more than a fingerprint. Every twig, branch or bark: dexterity greater than any living thing’s bone structure. The sounds: who knows?

What people choose to behold are things they have not seen before. And yet, many have not seen outside their front doors before.

Think about it. You have passed through your front door, got in your car and drove to work. However, this is without witnessing what is around you. Every movement you make is travelling and everything you witness is nature.

Maybe I am coming across as too Romantic and writing in an archaic style that has been done to death, but it is true! Do you visit places because a name has been stamped on it that says you MUST see it before you die? Do you look for the rarest species, not to conserve, but to say you have seen it. Too many people do the right thing but for the wrong reasons. They want the label and honour of the famous nature writers.

It is irrelevant where you travel to or who you volunteer with. What matters is that you really understand — no, you feel, genuinely feel, in your core that no matter where you go, even if it is no where — You are witnessing all that you need to see in your lifetime in less than a glance.

Photo by Racorn

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