Staying HOME for sustainability

Over the last couple months, life as we know it has changed deeply.

Can you see the silver lining here? Lets take a closer look…

Our everyday activities and long term plans have been put on hold. Business and boarders have closed globally. Families and communities are left to care for each other. From local to global, the interconectness reveals its unshakable structure while all excess falls a part.

Suddenly we have time! And with that in abundance, a question eccos in the colective mind: what would sustain our system in case of a new crisis? How can we be safer in the future? What is truly sustainable? The quest of lessons to learn was set...

Three months ago I recieved a call confirming my participation in this program, together with another brazilian and two norwiegian we were to exchange countries and experiences in order to implement sustainable pratices in hostels. Two months ago we met in Colombia for a NOREC training with other projects to bond before we parted on our individual missions. A month ago our exchanges were cancelled. Although the travel itself was put off, the quest of sustainability remains. Today I see clearer, and I’m here to share, the value of time to process this cenario from an angle of growth. Hopefully towards a more sustainable society.

Hostels, the center object of our project, are a meca spot for young people to discover themselves and connect to the global community. It was through this path that I, my younger self, opened up to the possibilities and responsabilities of being a young adult able to travel and explore a globalizing world. I was thrilled with the oportunity to give back to this community that gave me soo much and then corona striked…

Instead of lamenting my canceled plans I took on the perspective that everyone, somehow, was going through a similar frustration and looked for common ground. Travel has thought me that, diferences apart, we always have a merging spot. This is the magic of travel: being able to relate to the strangest of places and people. Exposing to the unknown and finding ourselves in the process. How could we access that spark from our homes? Afterall, we are all connected, by travel or by confinement.

Lesson learnt #1

We are all together, altough apart

You are a part of this, an important part, own it!

In this experience at greeting sustainability we are one! Whatever frustration I was going through, many could relate. The only disconnection was in the mind. From Brazil to Norway, from hostels to the luxury hotels, from local communities to global conversions, everyone’s plans had been contained. The process of perception comes from the inside to the outside, the individual to the colective.

It is time we change our perspecive to a colletive one. Our old system has long profited from selling independence and this has taken a toll off our resources and possibily contributed to where we are now: home and isolated. The frustration of being locked down is of our own making and this is good news! If we have brought humankind to his point, we can together create a new reality. It’s time to stop finding who to blame and start strengthening connections that together create a chain, a stronger one system. The individual action is as important as global politics.

Lesson learnt #2

Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have.

There are no small steps to walking a long path. If you take the lesson above as truth you elevate the contribuition of every individual as an important part of a bigger picture. Each and everyone of us has a unique talent that together builds this puzzle. There are no small parts in this, if a part breaks or fails to express, the wholeness is affected.

Maybe doing what you can is facing the fact that you don’t know what to do and reaching out for help. Connecting is a big part of this. Maybe what you have now is as simples as amazing cooking skills. So, you offer food to your neighbour that is home and overcharged with 3 kids unschooled.

Maybe what you can do is just find inner peace and embrace the fact that we are going through a big process and it is ok to feel like you don’t know. Maybe you can teach something, maybe you can learn. Everything has two sides to it, you never know what is out here unless you express what is in you.

Of all things I said here today, I hope this lesson resonates with you most. It is a process and you showing up, regardless of what you can give, is essencial. You matter and you are a part of this. We all are. Let’s strengthen through connection and exchange. The internet is a powerful tool and the time is now. It is as simples as starting…

Lesson learnt #3

We are human beings, not human DOINGS

Time is an undervalued ressource. We should stop glorifying busy and start praising presence. There is much to be found in idle times…. this is the essence of the recent meditation/yoga crave and the craddle for creativity. There is something truly unique about being human that no machine will ever substitute. This is the time to develop that thing that only you can do, there are no small tasks.

We have spent decades working and replicating an educational system based in the industrial factory’s necessities. Nowadays we already have technology to disrupt that system, in fact research points that 30% of jobs will be gone by 2030. This corona time-off is precious to revise your talents and skills, your true contribuition.

Find your uniqueness, make art. Allow bordome to guide you into true curiosity, find what makes you jump out of inertia and enjoy your new found passion. I guarantee a dormant sense of purpose will rise from this exercise and soon flourish in ways that bring lasting joy. Having time is a precious side effect from this pandemia. Explore that! Even if it means just getting familiarized with boredome or frustration. You will be amazed with what emerges after a while. Just be!

Hostelling International’s mission statement

Now that the first lessons in this crisis oportunity have been absorbed, we can move foward with the original project’s purpose: to promote sustainability. Lets explore online and exchange smart solutions for developing sustainbility inside our homes and out into our planet. Both are home, think about it.

If for now we must stay in confinement… then let’s look around ourselves and improve this place that shelters us in hard times. Be grateful for your home. Stay safe, stay sane, stay entertained. Have fun exploring new possibilites! Being present is a sustainablity measure for building a better future. Look for the bright side and enjoy that wholehearted… or just breathe deeply until the next best thing comes along.