Gifting something different....
The reason I am writing this is to put a seed of thought in the mind of others. Being aware of the impact of over-consumption, I made a decision to try to gift an experience or something I can make (or do) rather than buy for others. I appreciate that everyone likes to give and receive gifts especially at Christmas. Rather than adding to over-filled attics and cupboards, maybe we could consider creating an experience with friends and family that will become a lasting memory.....A day out, a meal together or a local adventure will all work and it helps local businesses and communities. Sometimes just doing something fun together is the best gift of all
If you are buying a gift in the coming weeks, try to stop and think...
Will the person I am gifting this to use this more than a few times?
Is it something that will last, can it be reused, passed-on or recycled?
Do I know where and how this was made?
Can I buy something from a local maker for the same price?
Is this a better option than making something or enjoying an experience together instead?
Here is my story of a recent experience I planned with my sister and my best friend and it is something I will treasure forever....
To lessen my carbon footprint I have limited myself to one return flight a year so I try to consider my travel very carefully. For many years I have travelled for work and for pleasure but I never quite made it to one or two places that I had always wanted to visit since I was a child.
Recently I marked one of these places off my 'bucket' list. I was gifted a trip to Iceland and in October 2021 I finally set off on my Icelandic Adventure.
I arrived in what can only be described as torrential rain...the kind that soaks you through as it falls, and bounces back up off the ground to drench you again from the feet up. Added to this, Iceland is definitely the windiest place I have ever been and I thought I was going to have a disaster of a visit.
However, the following day the rain held off and my adventure began. I had carefully planned my trip to include geysers, Thingvellir National Park, Black Beach, Kerid Crater, several waterfalls and the glacier that enters the sea at Diamond Beach.
Iceland didn't disappoint...it was magical (despite the hours driving from place to place)
The locals were very friendly and the scenery was spectacular...I even managed to catch a glimpse (through my camera lens) at the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.
The main thing that struck me was how little the natural landscape had been disrupted despite Iceland's huge tourism trade and secondly how far ahead the Icelanders are in terms of sustainability and environmentally aware practices.
Reykjavik is one of the most creative and colourful places I have visited, with a host of shops supporting local crafts and designers. The street art was quirky and colourful adding to the creative atmosphere of the city.
I hope to go back someday, after I get to the two other places I still want to visit!