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Travelling sustainably–wild holiday stories

Sustainability is one of the big topics of our time, and that's a good thing. Climate change is everywhere. We have to do something, and travel is an aspect that we can all work on. But how can you both act ecologically and travel? Isn’t that a contradiction? It doesn’t have to be.

We asked Team Wildling what sustainable travel can look like; how it’s possible to go on adventures while leaving as small a footprint as possible.

Anna-Maria really enjoys travelling with her boyfriend. They both love exploring the world. “Still we want to avoid flying as much as possible. So last year we bought a demountable camper, and we enjoy being out and about in it in the countryside. We’re very careful to keep our consumption to a minimum and to pack only the basic essentials,” she says.

Sabine tells us, “This year we’ll be spending our holidays in Berlin and on Usedom. We’re especially looking forward to spending time together. We don't need to fly long distances to do that.”

“To see as much of the world as possible”

“There are seven of us,” Sarah M. reports. “Planning flights with a big family is a real challenge, for cost reasons if nothing else. However, that means that compared to others we find it easier to deliberately do without for sustainability reasons. Of course we’d still like to show our kids as much of the world as possible. Whatever we do, we try to make sure we act as sustainably as we can.

For example we only go on holiday once a year and try to keep our car trips as short as possible. We take food with us that we can buy loose and unpackaged, pack only a few clothes and don't buy unnecessary junk when we're on holiday. When travelling we do without plastic, buy our fruit and vegetables from local shops, don't go on trips to the zoo or things like that, and the car usually stays put. It’s more fun to explore a new area by bike, anyway.

In some countries avoiding plastic and sorting rubbish are a real challenge. If we see rubbish on the beach, we collect it. I know that these are little things, but we also want to be good role models for our kids. And it's important to raise everyone’s awareness.

Slowing down

For Katha the journey is the reward; it's part of the trip to spend many hours getting somewhere. “My nicest holiday memories are of hiking with too-heavy rucksacks, and pan bread on the Trangia stove in the mornings. My 24-hour train journey to a friend in Hungary. Cycling alone along the northern Irish coast. Multi-day canoe trips with my family, when I was a child. Conversations in the night train from Timisoara to Bucharest, using a combination of English and hands-and-feet Italian.

I’ll never forget the first holiday with my boyfriend, either. We took the train to Sweden and spent ten days kayaking on Lake Båven. We never met a single soul there. We could listen to our own thoughts. It was wonderful. Of course you can't deny that that kind of travel involves an element of stress. Train journeys especially can be very tiring. But I really appreciate the slowing down. It helps me to be aware of everything, to concentrate on the moment without being overwhelmed by impressions and appointments–without feeling that I need a holiday after the holiday.”

We’re inspired by all these wonderful ideas, and in our imaginations we’re already off on our next sustainable wild adventure...

Run wild! Anna, Ran & the Wildlings 

Picture in Header: Travel Owls

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