Hello, we’re Kirstie and Arthur. We’re on a trip around the world without flying, and we’re writing about our travels on salt with your coffee. Well, Kirstie is. Arthur is mostly proofreading, photographing (Kirstie does this too), instagramming, having ideas bounced off him, and providing tech support, coffee and constructive criticism.
We set off on Sunday the 4th of October 2015, and have visited Holland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore so far. You can have a look at some of our route here.
On our journey we’ve travelled by train, bus, ferry, tram, bicycle, subway, trolleybus, chair lift, minibus, car, funicular, electric cart, motorbike, sidecar, remork, barge, kayak, pick-up truck, tuc tuc, monorail, trishaw, and longtail boat, and even done a few bits on foot.
We quit flying in 2011 after I read a book about the carbon footprint of various activities, and began to appreciate what a huge impact flying has on the planet.
For example, a return flight from London to New York is responsible for emitting between 3.6 and 4.9 tonnes of CO2 per passenger, depending on who you ask. Estimates for the ‘safe’ level of CO2 emissions per person per year are around 1.5-2 tonnes.
Since we switched to other forms of transport we’ve been on some great trips. We really enjoy travelling without flying, so much so that I think we’d do it without the environmental imperative. It’s not always easy, but it’s usually worth the effort to find your way somewhere without a plane. We find it’s a much richer experience moving through places more slowly, and seeing things along the way.