Before I joined the #30dayswild challenge with the Wildlife Trusts I thought my days were reasonably filled with wild forays. From bird watching, walking in the hills, jogging in the woods to the odd spot of gardening. But as the month of June has passed I have realised that I am a creature of habit. My wild time is fairly predictable and in a way repetitive, which isn’t altogether a bad thing, but it leaves many doors unopened. Most of my outdoor time is spent surveying or exercising, all be it in different settings.
The #30dayswild challenge has opened my eyes to the many other possibilities that the outdoors has to offer. I don’t have to be counting and documenting, or burning calories in nature, there is plenty more to do in the great outdoors. The twittering updates from people of all ages and background provides many great ideas and motivation. Wild can be much much more than I ever imagined.
For the rest of the month I have set myself a few goals, with the aim of opening a few more doors into the wild.
1. Engage all my sense, and focus less on the visual. My plan is more tasting (with caution), sniffing, touching and listening to all things wild.
2. Create more homes for nature, building, collecting, planting, what ever it takes. I’m usually an observer and not a creator, so this will definitely add something new. A bug hotel is on the cards and who knows what else!
3. Doing every day things outside. Although the Irish weather can be a deterrent, we have started eating more meals outdoors and taking cups of tea or coffee to the greenhouse. There is something very calming about sitting with our newly planted tomato plants, watching them grow. I want to find more ways to bring the outdoors into my everyday. Reading, relaxing, yoga, whatever.
4. Share and be proud. I’m crazy about all things wild, but sometimes I’m cautious in showing this passion to others and sharing this awe. Maybe I’m afraid it will come across too strong, or people will think i’m a “crazy bird lady” or worst off all, they may not be interested in the slightest, and this would break my heart. For the next few weeks I going to try and throw caution to the wind, share more with passing strangers, family and friends. This will be interesting!
I think this is enough to keep me busy and to broaden my own version of wild.
Wish me luck!
Posted from WordPress for Android
Three weeks ago today we got on a flight from Copenhagen and landed in Dublin. It seemed like any other visit we have made over the last 3 years, but this time, it was a one way ticket. This time we took more luggage, including two bikes. This time, we are here to stay. Almost a month has passed, like a dream. There has been so many new faces, smells, challenges and surprises and so many memories which pop up at unexpected times. But we are taking each day, one at a time, and doing our best to remember why we made the decision to move to Ireland. What it is we want from this chapter in our lives. More family time, more mountain time, more wild time. Here’s my “best of” so far, which involves a lot of family, hills, birds, bikes, a bit of exercise and the odd dead thing.
During our travels in South America, we did some thinking, as you do when you are on holiday, removed from being occupied by daily life. On new years eve we considered our lives, what we held dear and discussed our future options. We would return to Europe with many choices before us, without work or a place to live, free to choose the next step. It’s not often you find yourself with so free, with so few connections or commitments. At the bottom of Colca Canyon in Peru, with Condors soaring above us, as a final decision for 2014, we decided our next chapter would be in Ireland.
There are many reasons for me to reconsider Ireland as my home, the main one being my family. My mother, sister and two brothers live on the east coast, in a town called Dundalk. Living abroad for the past 5 years, it hasn’t been easy for me to stay involved in their lives, and I want to be part of family life again. Sentimental, but true. I am also looking forward to reconnecting with my close friends and extended family and following their lives a little closer too. I was truly honoured that so many helped me to celebrate my 30th birthday last July in Ireland, it was a very special day for me.
Another factor that calls me back to Ireland is nature. Ireland has always held a very special place in my heart when it come to green, wild open spaces. After travelling to various corners of the world, for me there is simply nothing that compares to the green rolling hills and wild coastline of Ireland, especially when the sun shines! Linked to that, I’m very excited about rediscovering Irish wildlife and nature in a professional way. My interest in wildlife, (birds, mammals, trees, bugs, flowers, the lot) exploded after I moved to Somerset to work with the National Trust in 2010. Since we made the decision to relocate, I have followed with a renewed sense of excitement the developments in Irish nature, though the wonders of the internet, social media and some wonderful podcasts from RTE!. I hope to become a certified bird ringer with the BTO, and to become an active member of conservation and environmental groups and generally integrate into the “wildlife family” in Ireland.
Over the last 6 years I have been involved in many different projects. From environmental monitoring and volunteer coordination to environmental education. With the skills I have collected, I hope to find a job that allows me to contribute to protecting and sharing Irish nature with everyone. My big passion is “local nature” as I like to call it; the wild and wonderful which exists under our noses and is accessible, free for all to see and enjoy! In the past I have created opportunities to share our wonderful world with children, and the results were amazing. I look forward to creating more connections between nature and people, in my home country.
From the comfort of a small farm in Denmark we are remotely building our new lives in Ireland, which will begin in May 2015. We are learning about Irish nature and heritage along with the unique challenges and opportunities that exist on the green island. It’s very exciting as there are so many places I look forward to visiting, and sharing with as many as possible.
To find out more about us, our backgrounds and our adventures visit our LinkedIn profiles and follow us on Twitter.
Twitter @JL_nature @2sloth