The Wild Geese East Galway have partnered with Booniverse Limited since 2019 with the specific goal of raising the profiles of the main towns and villages of East Galway. Our vision was first muted at a presentation at Portumna Castle in July 2019 where Booniverse Agency demonstrated the features and functionality and community benefits of the app to local business, services and folks.
It gives us great pleasure to announce that Portumna is the first town in East Galway to go live on the xplore local app. A group of enterprising local TY students and university students volunteered and worked assiduously on the backend gathering and inputting the data on each local business and local attraction.
The app has community at its heart and in addition to promoting local business, the xplore local app will include the following features designed to promote our towns both to local tourists, and, as we slowly emerge and recover from the pandemic to all visitors.
A mobile digital infrastructure for the towns of East Galway is central to the ongoing strategy of the Wild Geese Taskforce enabling us to:
- support and promote local business
- engage with and build communities
- promote local, national and international tourism
- build modern community alerts and notices
- pitch our towns on the national and international stage as a place to live and work remotely
Already, the self-guided tours, interactive hikes, and trails are proving popular with communities during the very restrictive measures imposed by the pandemic.
Nobody would dispute that 2020 had more than its fair share of darkness. But when we look back at all the dark aspects of 2020 and turn them over, we see that some have light on the other side.
2020 was a crucible, a time of immense trials and unspeakable losses that has also created unforeseen possibilities for change. We’re in the midst of a winter that, as experts predicted, will be dark. But with vaccines being rolled out, and with the winter solstice now behind us, each day gives us a bit more light.
The pandemic may have put a sudden stop to travel, commuting, sporting events, dining out, and seeing our friends whenever and wherever we wanted. But it also made us realise how many parts of our frenetic, harried, and over-scheduled lives just weren’t necessary.
Throughout the lockdown, social media and news outlets have inundated us with stories and images of nature “returning” to our cities and towns, with dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice. In parks and green spaces, new desire paths have quickly developed as people make their own routes in the urban landscape.
We relished these images because they were shining beacons of light in the darkness. The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you but try and adapt, make some good things happen (within your 5km!)
For not only will you fill your world with hope, but you will also fill yourself with hope. What we all hope will endure after the pandemic is the deeper human engagement with the natural world so many of us experienced during the lockdown and close-knit communities.
The pandemic may have shut down much of the human-controlled part of the world, but, thankfully, nature hasn’t gotten the message. Birds still chirp, flowers burst into bloom and gentle breezes still sway the trees.
Here in Portumna, our lush and verdant forest has had a renaissance. Our lake so tranquil and vibrant every morning welcomes the locals seeking comfort and joy swimming early in the morning. The gifts of nature are endless. We used to dream about escaping our ordinary life, but life was never ordinary. We simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.
So take this opportunity to rediscover the extraordinary in your home town, support local and xplore local. I think Hippocrates said it best:
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity