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TRAVELLING THE WORLD WITHOUT FLYING, JUST LIKE CÉLINE SÉRIS

Iznowgood Blog

WHEN DREAMING OF TRAVELLING THE WORLD, WE OFTEN ACCEPT THERE IS SOME SERIOUS FLYING INVOLVED. BUT WHAT IF WE COULD BE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY AND REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WHILE ENJOYING THE JOURNEY? TAKE THESE EASY STEPS, INSPIRED BY FRENCH BLOGGER CÉLINE SÉRIS aka @IZNOWGOOD_.

Words By José M. Sainz-Maza

Photography by Ricardo Esquivel

Today, it is possible to travel non-stop from London to LA in just over 11 hours and circumnavigate the entire planet in less than two days. Many Europeans fly to other countries more than 2000km away for just a weekend and, as social media dominates much of our lives, we observe picture after picture of relaxing vacations in tropical destinations on the other side of the world. It seems ironic that so many committed to conscious eating habits do not hesitate to hop on a flight for leisure trips. So often we simply resign ourselves to habits where we are unaware of alternatives.

Travelling by plane to cover long distances in a short time, and using cars to move quickly between countries with deficient public transport infrastructure, seems to be the most convenient and often, the cheapest option. This said, these means of transport are far from sustainable, since they greatly increase our carbon footprint, especially when inefficiently making many trips in a few hours to save time to the final destination. According to data from the British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and collected by the BBC, domestic flights are the most polluting method of travel, compared to those with lower environmental impact, such as long-distance buses and trains. As a result, ‘slow travel’ has risen as a trend among the more conscious and determined to protect our planet.

A great source of inspiration is the French influencer Céline Séris (@iznowgood_ on Instagram), who invites us to rethink our customs and enjoy our journeys in a responsible way. Her own personal experience travelling the world is documented through her blog and Instagram profile, where she explains how to go from country to country, without resorting to the airport. From traveling by bicycle and train to waste management or plastic and single-use material usage, she provides useful tips to enjoy the places we dream of visiting, without damaging the environment. In this article, we have summarised for you some of the greatest ones, though you can find a much more complete list on her blog (for French speakers).

Use Trains and Hitchhike to cross countries

The goal is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, so you should make your decisions based on this principle. Of course, the first thing it implies is to not use airplanes, the most polluting means of transport. Trains are a good option (although not all of them are equally green), and so are buses and other means of collective transport. Céline gives us the advice that, if at some point in time we must drive a car, let’s try to make it hybrid, electric or with a very low fuel consumption.

@iznowgood_

@iznowgood_

“As we may need to cross the ocean, the French influencer suggests two feasible options: “boat hitchhiking and traveling aboard a freighter”!

Walk or ride Bicycles where there is no public transportation

In many parts of the world, road infrastructure and rail networks are degraded and chaotic. Perhaps you would rather explore a route off the map, or simply travel at a different pace. Don’t be afraid to carry your backpack and go on an adventure. Where travelling longer distances with no obvious or less convenient options, try riding a bicycle. It is lightweight, easy to drive and repair, it allows you to carry more weight and you can use it on very rough terrain, not suitable for a car.

Carry only the essential luggage

Crossing several countries without using airplanes means that the trip could be lengthened, possibly even by several months. Unlike sightseeing or an excursion near your city, you must be prepared for any situation or circumstance. Travelling light is important, so wear comfortable and high-quality clothing, including versatile garments that can serve you in warm climates and also in colder ones. By doing this you will save space to include necessary toiletries, medicines and bandages, ecological sunscreen, a compass, maps, and camping materials, such as cutlery, to avoid using anything disposable. In addition, you surely want to bring your best camera to remember your adventure later!

@iznowgood_

Choose local

As Italian entrepreneur and traveller Pietro Ienca rightly pointed out when we interviewed him a few weeks ago, one of the keys to moving around the world in a sustainable way is promoting everything local and avoiding franchises. This includes visiting traditional restaurants, shopping at local markets, and staying at homestays whenever possible – Céline highlights options such as Airbnb and couchsurfing – or in family-run guesthouses and eco-responsible accommodations.

 

@iznowgood_

Be responsible with every small action

Never give up the good habits you already practice at home. Try to avoid the use of disposable plastic objects, littering the places you visit, or polluting lakes and rivers. Moreover, try not to disturb local wildlife, be respectful of the culture and traditions of the people you meet on the road, and always try to make the most responsible decisions; those less wasteful and with a smaller carbon footprint.

Collectively, you can put these ideas into practice the next time you travel. It doesn’t have to be a full trip around the world, but perhaps a weekend hiking in the Alps, or your next getaway in the autumn. Should you be looking for further inspiration, Instagram, Twitter and other social media feature plenty of sustainability influencers living in conscious, eco-friendly ways. Even profiles with few followers, such as @our.only.home, and their more-than-one-year trip by bike across Europe and Asia, could be the motivation you need to think differently about taking flights, and to start enjoying the scenery down on Earth more. Just get out there, walk, breathe, enjoy and take care of nature.