Sabbatical leave: fighting entropy

Sabbatical leave: fighting entropy

After 8 years service as a creative, next June I will travel with my partner, bicycle and camera for three months. Yes I will!

Fighting entropy
To stand still is going nowhere. Or going backwards, some say. It takes energy to keep going forward. In nature, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, is to blame for our universe slowly falling apart, unless energy is put in to reverse this process. Think of it like a downhill stream, which will flow to the lowest part. It takes effort to redirect the water.

Humans fight their own daily battle against physical and mental entropy.

While it’s easier to let things go and let things be, it takes energy to remain fit and keep on growing.

I’ve been fighting my own battle against entropy in many ways. With sports, to slow down physical decay. And with human interaction, cultural and news consumption, to sharpen my mind. But on the other hand, I let entropy hold me back.

When loyalty and risk-adversity is turning against you
Deep inside I knew I wasn’t truly doing what was needed to keep growing creatively.

My excuse, a blend of professional loyalty and risk-adversity, explains it took me 8 years to develop the guts to open doors for deep regeneration.

I finally asked my employer Unlimited Communication for a sabbatical leave: to dust of my brain and energize new thinking and creativity. My thirst to fight entropy by all means during a longer period of adventure, confrontation, reflection and inspiration was understood and accepted. That must have taken guts too and I thank my employer for his comprehension!

Project along the road
With a partner devoted to achieve awareness about and impact in the environmental challenges we face, we thought about joining forces to make more people positively wonder about the energy challenges we face. Fossil fuels have helped human beings in amazing ways to fight the natural process of entropy, but it is now clear that their usage have their footprint on our climate. In addition, fossil fuels are becoming scarcer, which equals shifts in power to have’s and have nots.

If humans – and other creatures – want to keep living comfortably on this planet, we need all our creative, physical and mental power to find new and smart ways to fight entropy. What can we learn from people and places across the globe dealing with the energy challenge? You’ll find out more if you’ll follow our journey fighting our own entropy battle!

The project’s mission is to practice creative skills (writing, journalism, photography) while raising curiosity about the strong relationship between the quality of our energy system and our quality of life. We will share our experiences on the Energy Borders project website (under construction) and the energy-consciousness collective website.

Itinerary
We will take the train from Amsterdam to Warsaw -Poland- and will cycle onwards. We will peddle through countries with enormous fossil fuel reserves like Iran, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, cross countries which struggle because of a lack of own energy sources, such as Ukraine, Armenia and Moldavia, visit countries that found a way to harness energy available, but by doing so are unintentionally harming their neighbors, such as Tajikistan, and pass through countries which are using their energy to influence others, such as Russia.

We do not have the guts to risk the threat of terrorism on one of my dream roads, the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan, but will find a great alternative in Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway is said to be stunning. But the best of any journey will be the unexpected surprises the road will bring us.

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© June 2012, Marijn Engels