Thursday, 4 April 2013

When In Rome: 
10 Ways to Connect Children to Nature While Travelling

The Spark:
It may be difficult to stay connected to nature and get your daily dose of vitamin N when you are vacationing in big cities where most of what you see is paved roads and stone buildings.  The sights are stunning but when the daily grind is over you may start experiencing a feeling of nature disconnect.  You may find yourself craving for the site of a blade of grass, a tree, bush, or small green space.  The small green space in the image above was found behind closed doors inside a small building courtyard.  Like an oasis hidden from the hustle and bustle of the busy street beyond, this tiny patch of nature was meant to be enjoyed in peace and quite.

Calling all Super Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Let's find some creative ways to connect to nature while globe trotting!  If you are interested then start your quest with the question WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why: To get your daily dose of vitamin N even when travelling and to discover how different cultures include nature in the design of their cities and how nature is woven into their daily life.
What:  To look for ways that the culture celebrates nature and includes it as part of their daily life
Where:  Rome, Italy
Who: You, your family, and friends (whomever you are travelling with)
When:  As you experience the sights, sounds, and culture
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH., or is it?

Take Action:
1.  Find a courtyard:
Image above.  Enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of Rome life and just sit quietly with nature.

2.  Architecture and nature:
The Pantheon was built in 126 AD and did you know that the large oculus located at the top of the dome in the Pantheon is completely open to the elements?  The best time to visit is during a rain storm so that you can see the rain coming in and landing right on the Pantheon floor at your feet and draining away into the tiny floral slits in the stone beneath your feet. 

 The Pantheon floor with tiny petal slits at the centre of the square shapes

3.  Nature and Art:
Look everywhere to see how the natural world of both flora and fauna are portrayed in art.
Note what is portrayed in the scene, what is depicted, and where it is found.

4.  Play Games in the Piazza:
When nature in the form of green space seems far away there is always the wind.  This little girl plays with her dad as they take advantage of the wind on a gusty spring day as they blow soapy bubbles.

5.  Water, Water, Everywhere:
As you walk along on your path towards the amazing sights in Rome, be kind to the environment by recycling your bottle of water.  Instead of trashing it after you drink the water in it, refill it with water from the fountains of Rome.  Did you know that Rome is known as La Regina Del Aqua, the Queen of Water?  There is an app that you can download that shows you where all the water fountains are located in Rome!

6.  Visit a Local Market and Buy Fresh, Local Produce:
Hungry?  You don't have to eat every meal in a sit down restaurant.  Visit a local market in Rome (this one is the famous Campo de'Fiori) and find out what is in season and how far away it was grown.

7.  Choose Healthy Food:
When you hear a grumble in your tummy and meal time rolls around, try to choose some healthy options for your meals or snacks.  The pizza on the right has bacon and the pizza on the left has potatoes, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms.  Which one will you choose? 

Try a fruit smoothy or a skewered fruit cup for breakfast.

8.  Go on a Picnic:
Share you food with family and friends while enjoying a sunny afternoon in a small patch of nature. 

9.  Share Your Lunch With Feathered Friends:
Observe birds in their city habitat.  Daily life in Rome includes sharing where you live with the birds.  Birds can be seen everywhere in Rome and it is interesting to note how they live and survive within Rome's city walls.

10.  Culture and Nature:
Dogs play a big part in Roman cultural life.  It seems as though most people in Rome have dogs and care for them as member of the family.  Travelling with your dog is a special way to connect with nature as it may force you to look for those green spaces to share with your furry friend.  And remember... When it Rome....

Don't Stop Here:
Keep on researching and finding out more about how to stay connected to nature when travelling to big cities around the world.  Who knows, your nature quest could turn out to be one of you great passions in life.  And to think it just may have started out right here on this very quest.  If you have a hunch about something just drop us an email and we'll do our very best to give you hunch a whirl and get right back to you.

Quest Check:
We are extremely interested in keeping you extremely interested on your quest to find out more about nature so keep checking back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.

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