AUTHOR: Nina Karnikowski
Travelling closer to home is one of the best ways to lighten our travel footprint, which is good news for those of us currently stuck in our home countries. Proust’s famous words, “the real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”, are a potent reminder that travel is a state of mind, and that we can explore nearby neighbourhoods and landscapes with the same wide-eyed curiosity as we might have once reserved for Morocco, Italy or Nepal. ‘Microcations’ - taking the train or car to the beach or bush for a few days – also give a powerful reset, without burning masses of carbon.
Think about the things that bring the greatest joy to your life, and travel is likely to be right up there. It inspires and connects us, it helps us shake the dust off our lives, it teaches tolerance and expands our worldviews. But if we also want to reduce our impact on the planet, reshaping how we travel is one of the most seismic changes we can make, since the travel industry is responsible for an estimated eight percent of the world’s carbon emissions – an especially shocking figure when you consider that only six percent of the world’s population has ever set foot on a plane. The good news is that we can use that privilege and start rebuilding the way we travel right now, making our journeys as nourishing for the places and people we visit as they are for us.