The Life Cycle: Travel Writing as Environmental Activism

In her new book, The Life Cycle, Dr. Kate Rawles travels the length of South America by bike to tell the story of biodiversity loss on the continent.

Dr. Kate Rawles writes about her long distance bicycle journeys to inspire environmental action. Photo courtesy of

Listen to the full podcast episode here

Dr. Kate Rawles is an Outdoor Philosopher, Writer, Cyclist and activist who is using her love for epic journeys to communicate on environmental issues. Her upcoming book,The Life Cycle, sets our focus on Biodiversity as she bikes from Costa Rica to the southern tip of South American.

Through her books and subsequent traveling slideshows, Rawles aims to engage readers to take action via her detailed accounts of her journey along the spine of the Andes Mountains. After more than 20 years as an ‘indoors’ philosophy professor, Rawles decided to leave academia and take her message of environmental sustainability to the open road. Kate’s experiential and immersive method of research and storytelling first resulted in an analysis of North American perspectives on Climate Change in her book The Carbon Cycle, released in 2012, which documents her 3 months long journey from the US-Mexico Border to Anchorage Alaska. Following it’s release, Rawles garnered critical acclaim for the use of her epic journey as a way to promote progressive perspectives on Environmental Action.

In 2016, Rawles set off on her next big journey of biking from Costa Rica to the southern most tip in South America on her handmade bamboo bike in order too get a first-hand account and collect stories of biodiversity loss on the continent. Rawles was kind enough to stop by the virtual studio just before the release of her new Book, The Life Cycle based on her South America journey, which will be out on Icon Books this spring.

The journeys documented in both books are likely to resonate with travelers and environmental activists alike. Many of us want to go out there an ‘save the world, but it can seem overwhelming. Some may have always dreamed of going on big journeys with a purpose, just like Kate. Then again, not everyone is easily able to ride a bike, camp for months on end or afford to take the time to cross the Atlantic on a container ship.

Rawles’ journey is an amazing example of one person finding what they love and translating that into a powerful message on the needs of the environment. In fact, communicating ideas on Social, Cultural and Ecological Sustainability towards large audiences is more accessible than ever. As we have solidly learned under recent global pandemic circumstances, one can create meaningful experience in virtual classrooms, in a zoom meetings, in your local neighborhood or even right here on a screen or your headphones.

Listen to the full podcast episode here

For more information about the Adventures of Dr. Kate Rawles and her writings visit her website or find her on Twitter @CarbonCycleKate



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Joshua David Bennett

Host: Transnatural Perspectives Podcast. Educator, Guide, Communication Artist. Cultivating perspectives on Society & Culture across Environments & Landscapes