LoRaWAN is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification which allows connection of LoRa devices to the internet. LoRaWAN differs from LoRa by the inclusion of a physical layer.
This may seem confusing, but it's really no different from other types of networks (like cellular), except you can use a gateway (like a cell tower) that you own, or someone else owns and operates, to connect your device to the Internet.
One gateway can cover a large area, depending on the obstructions (a gateway operated in NYC would have a range of a few thousand kilometers vs hundreds of kilometers in the countryside)
We're going to be connecting our Raspberry Pi to The Things Network, a LoRaWAN network made up of volunteers operating their own gateways, using CircuitPython.
Want to learn more about The Things Network and CircuitPython? There's a full guide written on the Adafruit Learning System which dives into deeper detail.