For all the wonders of 21st-cuntury life – zippy internet, a taxi at the drop of an app, the ability to turn on the heating without being home – sometimes we wish for a simpler existence. One where we trade in tower blocks for towering trees, power showers for lake swimming and evening takeaways for morning foraging. Right?
PayPal founder and all-round Silicon Valley icon Mr Peter Thiel knows what we mean. He may have bought swathes of isolated land in New Zealand for the impending AI apocalypse (no, really), but in the meantime, he’s enjoying an idyllic, back-to-basics escape from the noise of the real world.
The desire to shun modernity and connect with nature isn’t only a billionaire’s fantasy. Human rewilding, as it’s known, is a real movement. An offshoot of the rewilding conservation projects aimed at restoring land to its natural state, human rewilders take themselves off to remote places to immerse themselves in nature and learn how to survive and thrive in the great outdoors. These are not places for chest-beating alpha males – human rewilding is thoughtful, welcoming and spiritual, often combining skills such as knifemanship and medicinal foraging with meditation and mindfulness.