Bright and early Sunday morning, a group of friends and I made our way to Howth (ho-th), Ireland. Walking along the northern coast of Dublin Bay there is some feeling of serenity. The walk from the train to the summit was about 5km. This trip is fun and laid back as there are several points to stop and take a break off the path. At the beginning of the trail there is a cute coffee/food shop with such sweet dogs! As we made our way up the trail you start to see the coastline and people jumping from the cliffs into the water. Some of my friends even spotted a seal! Highly recommend this hike for anyone around Dublin! We took the green path which is fairly easy and defined. Generally, there are 5 paths: The Black Linn loop (aka the Red Route), The Bog of Frogs loop (aka the Purple Route), The Howth Cliff Path loop (aka the Green Route), The Tramline Loop (aka the Blue Route), and last is the short path which starts at Howth Head Peak and goes to The Summit (parking lot). After the walk, we decided to stop in the town and grab a traditional dish of fish and chips!
Life as a wanderer. There is nothing freer than not being attached to anything. As a traveler you are embracing new cultures and constantly meeting new people. This is very valuable and creates a bond with you and the locals. As you travel, you begin to detach yourself from calling a single place home. Of course there will always be a special place where your family and friends are located, but now there are new places where you’ve made memories. While on the other side it might be sad to read ‘nowhere is home’, it simply means one is not attached to things or places. This philosophy is similar to the Buddhist monks practicing non-attachment to attain spiritual enlightenment. This also ties into last week’s debate about minimalism. Traveling lightly allows you to move freely and not worry about materialistic things. When everywhere is home there is no mental limit to where you can go. Once a house is classified a home then often we like to stay close to there. We feel safe. This phrase just allows us to go out of our comfort zone but make the most of every place we visit. Opening up to our new neighbors and locals just as we would when moving to a new neighborhood creates a endless places to call 'home'. Do you agree with this statement or do you think there is always a place to call home?
The UN created this day of observance to start a conversation around innovative approaches to risk reduction. To create a solution we need to understand the problem - what can we do better to prepare coastal areas for a tsunami? “By the year 2030, an estimated 50 per cent of the world's population will live in coastal areas exposed to flooding, storms and tsunamis. Having plans and policies in place to reduce tsunami impacts will help to build more resilience and protect populations at risk. Do you have a national or a local plan in place to anticipate a tsunami?” The UN created one guideline: Sendai Seven Campaign –"7 targets, 7 years". The guideline began in 2016 and goes until 2022 with indicators of progress. This year's target is to ‘substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020’. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’s goal is to save lives, reduce disaster losses and improve management of disaster risk. Why does this matter to me, I don’t live near a coastal area Tsunamis are rare events but can be the costliest among all hazards. The economic losses from disasters can be billions of dollars. This sets back developments which can be even costlier to poorer areas. Let’s not forget the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan cost more than US$235 billion. That is a hard price to pay for developing nations. Environmentally they have a devastating effect on natural resources and biodiversity. The change of landscape happens as trees, animals, plants, and their shelter are swept away. It is not only the tsunami that changes the landscape but the events that cause them such as volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides, and coastal rock falls. Above all, tsunamis destroys human lives. The 2011 Tohoju earthquake claimed the lives of 15,899 people with another 8,000 injured or missing. The UN reports, ‘in the past 100 years, 58 [tsunamis] have claimed more than 260,000 lives, or an average of 4,600 per disaster, surpassing any other natural hazard.’ To be prepared is crucial. As an outsider, you can help over 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and small island developing states exposed to extreme sea-level events by innovating plans, calling on countries to have plans, and increase awareness. Traveling allows us to visit these coastal areas, but when we leave we should have made a positive impact. Create conversations that save lives!