Travel Notes

It’s easy to feel worn out by all the bad news we are exposed to every day. We are always bombarded with sad headlines that make us feel like there’s no hope.

However, one of the most valuable things travelling has taught me is that there are plenty of good things happening around the world too, and it’s just a matter of what we choose to focus our attention on.

Here is a list of 30 happy stories from around the world, I heard about in 2019:

1. A Galapagos tortoise that was thought to be extinct, isn’t extinct after all!

2. In June, 633 divers removed over 1,500 pounds of marine trash at a beach in Florida, establishing a new world record.

3. NASA satellites showed how the earth is a greener place than it was 20 years ago.

4. Four years ago, were only 15 rhinos left in all of Tanzania but now the number has increased to over 160.

A rhino in a field with a bird on the back

5. It’s never too late for your dreams to come true! Yelena Yerjova from Russia, at the age of 90 realised her dream to backpack around the world.

6. Scientists discovered a way to spot Alzhaimer years earlier. This is a huge step to explore new therapies and cures.

7. In Northern Ireland, same sex marriage and abortion are now finally legal.

8. In Italy (in Rome), you can now pay for metro tickets with plastic bottles.

9. Dance and art are for everybody! In Dublin, Ireland, dance artists facilitate dance classes for people who are blind or have a visual impairment and for people with Parkinson’s.

10. Good news for the Amazon rainforest, as a tribe wins a legal battle against oil drilling and another indigenous right victory takes place to free up part of the forest in Ecuador from gold mining.

11. Thailand says no to single use plastic in all supermarkets and decides to use banana leaves to pack food.

12. Big steps were made against animal cruelty in circuses, as more and more countries use animal holograms or big puppets instead of real animals!

13. To encourage blood donations, in Sweden donors get a text messages every time their blood saves a life

14. Since 1979, Jadav Payeng, a man from India, has been planting hundreds of trees, creating a forest than is now larger than Central Park.

15. In Malawi, Theresa Kachindamoto, a female chief, came in power, making child marriage illegal, sending kids back to school and annulling over 1,500 child marriages that already took place.

16. In South Korea, people over 65 can now join dance classes and meet-ups to fight loneliness and dementia.

17. Over 6 million people decided to get involved in the Friday for Future movement all over the world. It’s great to know that so many people care about our planet!

18. Despite being worth over €50 billion, Norway decided not to drill for oil, to protect its eco-system.

19. In just one weekend in September, 8,000 volunteers in Ireland removed 45 tonnes of marine litter all over the coast.

20. Taiwan is the first country in Asia to make same sex marriage legal.

21. Humpback whales are not on the brink of extinction anymore. In fact, the population has grown worldwide from a few hundreds to 25,000!

Photo by Andre Estevez from Pexels

22. A cure against Ebola virus was discovered, which has had a success rate of 90%.

23. Australian people have been making small mittens to protect koalas’ paws that got burnt during forest fires.

24. In Canada it’s now illegal to keep dolphins in captivity for entertainment purposes.

25. There is a beach in Colombia that makes furniture for its hotel from rubbish found on its shore by volunteers.

26. In March this year, the #TrashTag challenge went viral on social media, encouraging people to clean-up streets, beaches and parks near where they live.

27. Maisie Green is a lively 90 year old woman who lives a few km away from London, in the UK. For the whole year, she has been knitting 500 blankets to donate to an NGO that looks after abandoned dogs.

28. In California, a girl who had an accident, founded “The Rollettes”, a dance company for people on a wheelchair, that inspires people to go beyond physical limits and teaches us that nothing is impossible!

29. In Ireland, in the month of April only, half million volunteers, removed 2,850 tonnes of trash from all over the country.

30. Amy Jandrisevits, a mum from Wisconsin, created “A doll like me”,  a small business that makes dolls with the same characteristics as their owners that might have disabilities or rare conditions, to bring a smile on children’s faces.

Photo from A doll Like me

As you can see, there are plenty of good things happening around the world, it’s just a matter of looking for them.

Have you heard of any more good news? I’d love to hear about them too in the comments!

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