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Re: #FlyingLess

In reply to:

... testimonials about flying less..."

I'm a perpetual digital nomad, but committed to not flying at the beginning of 2018.

I'm not a climate scientist, but as a recent academic I took major advantage of the international conference circuit to travel as much as possible during my PhD. I never liked flying, but I wanted to see the world and that just seemed like what you had to do. In retrospect the sheer volume of academic travel is quite obscene - especially given the number of people I meet who complain about having to do it so much!

In 2014 I found myself four events in continental Europe a week apart each, and persuaded my institute to pay for a three week Interrail pass instead of a bunch of flights. I took a bus from Edinburgh to Paris (W3C Working Group meeting), hitchhiked from Paris to Dusseldorf (IndieWebCamp hackathon), then a train to Innsbruck (tourism), train to Florence (World Wide Web Conf), trains to the coast and a ferry to Croatia (tourism, chillin'), buses and trains through Croatia to Slovenia (Extended Semantic Web Conf). Then one flight back to Edinburgh.

Since then I dreamed of slow-moving ongoing travel with no date I had to be back by. Now I find myself with all the time in the world, no ties or dependents, and a remote job, and can finally live it.

It's a great way to discover new places, get a better grip on international geography, and have diverse experiences.

In short if you can swing it, finding alternative ways to travel without flying is the bomb. Learn how to sleep and/or work on buses, make some time, and give it a shot. Academics with flexible schedules and hours (by which I mean, you tend to work all the time and mostly it doesn't matter where from) are in a superb position. If you're in a position to fund (time-rich, schedule- and location-flexible) students to travel, persuade them to look at alternatives before jumping on a plane.

I always start investigating a new route with Rome2Rio. Sometimes finding connections can be daunting and time consuming, and I'm also happy if anyone wants to ping me overland/sea travel questions I can try to help based on my experiences so far.

Disclaimer! I know many people, academics or otherwise, are not in a position to devote days to getting from A to B! I know many people are not physically or mentally able to spend long durations on buses. I know sometimes flying is just the only option if you don't want to miss out altogether! Consider this post aimed at those who can, and just need a bit of a nudge to step out of their comfort zone.

🏷 #FlyingLess travel