New Horizons (Page 3)
Time for a reboot! I took a sort of mini-sabbatical, to kick off my leap from working in local government to begin freelance consulting. Over two months (Nov. 2 to and Dec. 30, 2019), I travelled through Europe and Morocco, with the intention to make new connections and gain fresh perspectives to apply back at home (Vancouver, Canada), in my work in sustainability policy.
I made stops in Iceland, Wales, Amsterdam and Utrecht, Brussels, southern France, and Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Basque Country, Andalucía), and finished with two weeks in Morocco. Along the way, I made connections with people through my work network. A few themes developed, including bike- and pedestrian-friendly city design (I traveled with a folding bike), renewable energy, and of course climate change. When I left, the COP25 conference hadn't yet been moved to Madrid, but I was able to join in some "side events" at the last minute.
The posts that follow contain both personal reflections and experiences, as well as more "nerdy" sustainability topics. I've resisted the impulse to go back and edit things too much, to keep it "in the moment". So please excuse the imperfections - most posts were made on my phone from trains and buses - all my travel once across the Atlantic was by ground and water.
I have thoughts about air travel and personal responsibility in general in this climate crisis, something I'm still planning to write about more. For now I'll just say that I support taking personal responsibility, and applaud people who choose not to fly. At the same time, I think it's even more important to work toward systemic change so that it doesn't come down to personal choices. Participating in society - which at present time happens to be dominated by fossil fuels - doesn't mean you can't work to change it. And sometimes in-person experiences, even at a carbon cost, can be personally enriching toward what I hope is a greater good. Anyway, I returned to rainy Vancouver on New Year's Eve, indeed feeling refreshed and excited to contribute in my small way to positive global change in 2020!
I appreciate the interest of the family, friends and colleagues who followed my posts on this blog. It pushed me to look a little deeper and integrate. I'm also grateful to all the people who generously took the time to meet with me, answer my questions, and review my posts. And all the kind strangers who helped me out along the way,.