Featured

Getting back to my (green) roots

IMG_0465So here I am, almost 7 months since my last post. It’s been a bit of a rough spell these last few months. But spring is here once again and that alone is enough to make me feel better. This year however, spring did not only bring flowers, sunshine and vitamin D. It also gave me perspective.

A couple of weeks before my birthday(always a good time to start over or contemplate your future) I felt so incredibly stuck. Frustrated and stuck. Stuck at work, stuck with myself, stuck with finding a new job. And frustrated at the world. Frustrated because I want to change this world. Help it become a better more humane place. One in balance with nature. The problem was that I had no idea how. No matter how I tossed or turned I could not come up with a plan to ‘fix’ the world into becoming a sustainable one. There was so much I wanted to do. Help reduce plastic, built forests, stop animal cruelty, help people realise that underneath our clothes and religions we are all the same and we all want to be happy, help humanity see that we need all the different species of animals and creatures on this planet. That we should care for them instead of exploiting them. But you know as well as I do that there’s no single cure. So I tossed and turned, frustrated at my helplessness and unable to find how I want to contribute to a better planet. So, before you get your hopes up, no I didn’t magically find the way to a better future. But I gave up, in a way, of trying to fix it right now. If I didn’t know how I wanted to do it, I couldn’t do anything. I had thought about it over and over again but I just couldn’t find a way that I’d be able to follow right away(or in the near future). So instead of forcing myself to keep thinking and hitting that brick wall I let go.

I let go and the moment I did I realised that even though I couldn’t do anything big this instant, but I could start small(I already knew a small change can have a big impact since I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 10 years but somehow forgot). So I vowed to cut down plastic use, and become more aware of where I put my money(we vote with our money, so might aswell do some research and ‘vote’ for the type of companies I’d want to support). I had already vowed to use up the tea bags we had left and only buy loose tea in the future, started experimenting with different oils(in glass bottles) to try and stop using moisturizer from plastic containers, bought a Mooncup after reading a positive review on Ikbenirisniet(which I haven’t had the chance to try yet) and become more aware of what I bought that came in/with plastic overall. Flashforward to my birthday, where I got a two small greenhouses which then caused me to create a square meter vegetable garden on our balcony and, suddenly, trying to produce at least a part of our own vegetables was on the list too.

After my birthday in March I went on a yoga & meditation silence retreat (Human Awakening, who were absolutely amazing and I definitely want to come back next year but I’ll save that for another time!) which allowed me to create more space and quiet in my head too. In the meanwhile I also started as some sort of junior employee at the IVN (Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability). An organisation focused on bringing people in contact with nature and educating them, with loads of different projects focused both at children, adults and the elderly. This change in work really helped improve my overall feeling too. Even though I’m not directly responsible for the projects they do, I help with them, and in turn do atleast something remotely helpful to our world.

So here I am now. 3 weeks into my new habits and so happy with the progress I’m making. Even though the steps are small, and some take time (such as stopping to use teabags(I had a LOT of teabags) atleast I’m doing something.

I’m hoping to pick up on writing again, but I won’t be too hard on myself. Either way, I’m already excited at the thought of keeping you guys up to date about all of this!

Advertisements

With my head tilted back to the sky

DSCN1058

Those who know me well, know that I have this ever lasting obsession with the sky. No matter where I will be, I will often have my head tilted back to the sky.

There’s something about the sky that makes me want to sit down and just take it all in. Especially when it’s around dawn or dusk, I adore those parts of the day. The early brisk mornings, where the light has just barely started to touch the trees and the world around you is still asleep or those early sunsets in winter; where everyone in the train commuting home is sitting with their heads bent down reading the newspaper or focused on their phone and I feel like I’m the only one in the whole train who is seeing the beautiful sunset that is happing just outside of the carriage window. I like to look around in those moments sometimes, wondering how noone can see the beauty of nature right there. How there is noone else in the train going “oh wow that’s beautiful” and put their phone down for a while to just watch the outside world bask in the last rays of sunlight. Then I’ll shrug and go back to dreamingly watching how the sun paints the sky in many different hues. I also love that time when the sun is already down and you can see the sky becoming different hues of blue.

DSCN1047Imke got us a small but very good camera for my birthday. The pictures are amazing but what made me especially giddy is how well the pictures of the sky taken with it turn out!

So today, I’ll share with you some of the skies I’ve seen and photographed here in Ireland. Some are not high-quality because they were taken with my phone, but I wanted to show you the different faces of the Irish sky 🙂 Personally I enjoy sunny weather but the sky lacks depth without any clouds in it whatsoever, the same way a completely grey sky lacks depth too. It’s the contrast and different hues that catch my attention most.

Howth:Irish nature in the capital

DSC_0068

Howth is one of my “you must see this” spots when friends or family are over for a couple of days. It’s incredibly easy to get to yet you still get a taste of real Irish Nature on the Cliff walk.

Imke recently wrote a blog for An Ă“ige about our trip to Howth, which we did in the first weekend we were here way back in February. Despite the cold we had a lovely day to be outside.

Have a look at it here 🙂

Irish HI hostel organisation; An Ă“ige

IMG_0850

As you might have read before; My girlfriend and I are living in Ireland for half a year whilst she is doing her internship here(I’m here just for fun;) )

However, what I hadn’t told you is what her internship is actually about; Blogging and creating content for the Irish youth hostel organisation An Ă“ige about their many different hostels!. Recently one of her supervisors at the company asked if I was interested in creating content for them as well, and joining Imke on her travels to hostels, which I obviously would not turn down! So you can expect short blog descriptions with a url to the original blog that I wrote for the An Ă“ige blog whenever we have travelled to hostels 🙂

Our first trip together was to the Wicklow Mountains. Even though I was not asked to create content back then already, I joined Imke for 2 days on her trip while I was off from work. Because it would feel silly to write exactly the same story she already wrote for An Ă“ige I would much rather just refer to her blog post; which you can find over here.

I’m very excited to be able to write for them as well, and looking forward to our first big trip together! March 12 is when we will leave on our Wild Atlantic Way road trip of 9 days(including spending my birthday on the road!) So stay put for more travel updates after that!!

Lá Feabhra; Spring in Ireland

As someone born on a warm and sunny day in the middle of March(and who celebrated almost every birthday with good weather) I always thought of spring starting earlier than the commonly known starting date on the 20th of March. No, for me spring started way earlier. So you can imagine my delight when finding out that here in Ireland the official start of spring is not in March but in February! The first of February is known here as Lá Feabhra; the first day of spring and a day where Saint Brigid is celebrated. In the past they used to sow the first few seeds on this day to ensure a good harvest.

Today was one of the first sunny days where I was off while Imke was at her internship and after having spent so many days off staying inside because the weather was crap, I was more than happy to go out!

We live right next to a park and even though it consists mainly of grass and a handfull of trees, it’s on a hill and gives a nice view of the Dublin Mountains on the other side of Dublin. The last few weeks, flowers have been making their way up out of the grass but today I noticed for the first time that a lot of the trees already have green buds too!

Spring really does come at the beginning of February here! It completely caught me off guard. The last years spring always seemed to come too late. By the end of March I was already yearning, craving even to see green leaves on the trees again, and then it often still took a month before they would even start to bud. It was an obsession really; all I could think of when I would look at the trees would be how much I longed to see them green again. But here, here spring has already arrived before I even started to long for it!It makes me love this country even more. I can’t wait to see Dublin in its full green glory.

The way of the wind

windthroughgrass

Have you ever looked at grass in the wind? And I mean really looked at it? Because if you have, you would have seen the way the wind blows. How certain air streams twist and bend. The wind is not one entity, it doesn’t all come from the same direction with one single airflow. It’s an multiple being consisting of many separate airflows, bending, twisting and turning. All caused by obstacles, some nearby, some miles away.

I love how the grass, the leaves on the trees or trash floating about, can all make the invisible visible; suddenly it’s very clear how the wind turns and twists, which path each individual air flow takes and where it joins up with others.

I could literally sit on a hill for hours, just gazing at the way the wind blows through the grass. This majestic thing that is so powerful yet only visible through other matter fascinates me.