WAD's in it for you? Exploring cultural eco-system benefits as source of well-being in and around the Dutch Waddensea

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This thesis explores how being around the Dutch Waddensea can contribute to well-being. Specifically, it explores the highly personal and individual embodied and phenomenological experience. The focus in on the physical, affective, and cognitive dimensions of the experience, and what Cultural Ecosystem Benefits (CEB) are experienced. In addition to this, aspects that enhance or diminish the experience of CEB are explored. Using an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach (IPA), seven walking-focusing interviews (including one auto-ethnographic interview) were conducted at five different locations around the Waddensea. Walking-focusing interviews combine walking interviews with the method of Focusing. Focusing allows the participants to make the implicit embodied experience explicit. The analysis uncovered five main categories: the Waddensea, Walking, and Nature; Weather; Being in the Moment; Curiosity and Disruptions that are important to the experience of being around the Dutch Waddensea. The most important findings are that being around the area contributes to well-being by creating ‘rust’, which translates into a sense of tranquility and calm, and the experience of curiosity. This research provides the starting point for a more comprehensive, nuanced, and complete picture of the human- Waddensea relations and interactions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen