My journey to sustainability
I have always had an interest in landscapes and the environment from my school days. This led me to study geography at university and to pursue a career in education which gave me an opportunity to teach young students about environmental issues. I continued this work when appointed as a Secondary Education Adviser to schools. I decided to deepen my understanding of sustainability issues by enrolling for Masters’ degree in Education for Sustainability at London Southbank University and graduated with an MSc in 2010. Over the last 15 years I supported my husband in the implementation of agri-environmental projects on our farm, for example, planting hundreds of trees and many metres of hedging. In 2017 I fulfilled an ambition I had to set up a small business when I established Ards Peninsula Tours offering guided walking and coach tours in the Ards Peninsula. Participants enjoy the personal service and bespoke tours offered.
Launch of Sustainable Journeys Ireland
Three years on and after some reflection I have decided to rename the business. Sustainable Journeys Ireland is a more representative name which better reflects what is offered and the values underpinning the business. The current global pandemic has focused peoples’ minds on the importance of the natural world and our connection and experience of it through all our senses. We believe many people want to travel and have a meaningful experience in the place they visit, a sense of the place, a connection to it and an engagement with it at a local level through interaction with local people and the landscape. This is what we have offered and will continue to offer in the future. Our walking tours are at an easy-going pace, environmentally friendly and for coach tours we encourage people to explore one area more fully rather than spending many hours on motorway travel to far flung destinations. We believe many people care about the environment and want to act in ways which reflects their concern.
We all love the anticipation and excitement associated with travel to new places. The term journey is open to many different interpretations, for some people it is the physical journey to new places, for others it could be an inward journey of gaining greater self awareness while on holiday.Reflecting on emigrants’ journeys or the meaning of pilgrimage journeys are other perspectives.
The importance of sustainable tourism
Tourists who stay longer in a region benefit the host communities and are therefore supporting rural communities and contributing to their long term sustainability which is a very important way tourists can exercise their power to support local businesses and ‘do their bit for sustainability’ while on holiday. Given the unique experience we have been through in 2020 with Covid-19 people will want to enjoys staycations in Ireland and it is vital for families to support tourism businesses across the island.
There are so many wonderful experiences on your doorstep.Why not start by booking a walking tour with Sustainable Journeys Ireland. You will not be disappointed.