If you’ve been following Going Green at all, you’ll know that we care deeply about education, as well as travel. It’s important to always be educating yourself about ways to improve your life, the lives of those around you, and the world we live in. Traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures is a great way to get hands on education in the real world. Patrick Donohue has traveled more than most people, living and working in various continents and countries for the better part of a decade. Going Green had the opportunity to meet with Patrick Donohue, English Teacher Abroad, to discuss his travels, his experiences, and his reasons for wanting to live in a more sustainable world.
Patrick, Thanks for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I’m 29 year old American male from the suburbs of Albany, New York. Born and raised in a dual income middle class family. Compared to most, you could say I’ve led a life of privilege. Specs aside, I’d describe my twenties as a period of wandering by design. In 9 short years I’ve lived in England, Italy, Florida, California, and New York, and worked in Finance, Hospitality, Sales and now teaching English as a second language. Currently, I’m backpacking through Asia for who knows how long, and trying my best to live simply and curiously.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
One quote of resonance: ‘Be the change you wish to see in this world.’
Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today?
Today, tomorrow, 50 years from now—this is the greatest humanitarian crisis our species has ever encountered, and it is incumbent for every individual of ability to not only understand the stakes involved with climate change, but to consciously take a stand and work proactively towards a greener future.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
Younger, smarter, bolder.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Get your hands out of your pockets! Pick up plastic on the beach, eat less meat, recycle, compost, bike to work, invest in solar panels, write your congressperson, VOTE, donate your time, educate yourself.
What positive changes are you seeing?
I think we’re seeing a sea change in the public perception of climate change as we become aquatinted to the unsettling reality that this problem is here, and it’s here to stay. It’s getting harder and harder to find a climate change denier that isn’t fed by special interest, and if you were to stop someone on the street to ask them about climate change, I think you’d find most people not only informed, but deeply concerned. We’re here, we’re fed up, and we will no longer accept the status quo. I believe one of humanity’s greatest assets is our ability to work together to carve solutions out of monumental problems, particularly when our feet are to the fire. When you look at the sprint of progress in renewable energies over the last generation—from Grad school final projects to cost effective, market changing technologies—I can’t help but remain optimistic that we not only can, but will work to develop practical solutions to this cataclysm. We have no other choice.
Follow Patrick’s travels and journey on his instagram: Patriliam.