Venice is a city that I have never quite been able to get my head around. The idea that we as humans have adapted to literally live on water, to forge lives, businesses and futures in a city that floats is truly mind blowing. Venice was as beautiful as I had expected, if not more so.

The Venice floods were well documented, as the city began to sink and residents began to uproot lives and businesses that have been built over centuries the rest of the world looked on in horror. Everyone we had spoken to, on hearing our plans to visit the city last December expressed concerns on how the city was coping and if our trip would still be going ahead. For our mind, if the flight was going, so were we. I travelled to Venice in partnership with Pala eyewear, a company who are giving back to people and our planet. With a focus on timeless styles and longevity Pala are a British company I am proud to be partnering with.

Upon arriving in Venice it was hard to believe the city had ever been under threat. Only one or two of the flood defences remained and it was truly remarkable to see how the city had pulled back. Business were open as normal, tourists (albeit less than the Summer months) wandered the winding streets, and Aperol Spritz’ were enjoyed in the warm Winter sun. Living in uncertainty, constantly aware that you are living at the mercy of rising sea levels must be one of the most disconcerting feelings. Although, perhaps it is no different from living in a country prone to earthquakes, tsunamis or other extreme weather fronts. There is no use in living in fear, paralysed waiting for the next natural disaster to strike, when these extreme conditions are after all caused by humans actions against our planet.

The Venice floods should act as a warning, as should the Australian bush fires that we need to change our ways. Extreme environments are not natural, and only we can stop them from becoming the norm. Small steps by many are key, being more conscious of who you support, promote and stand by. Use less, reuse more. We do not need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly. Great change does not, and can not come over night. It will be a long hard slog, full of mistakes, successes and gradual change. We can do it, and we must try.