Elaine, Ireland


I previously lived for almost 20 years in Tanzania, and flew home to visit family and friends in Ireland once every one or two years, so I have had a very bad carbon impact in my life for that reason alone, despite having a very low carbon impact in most other ways, never owned a car etc.  When I moved back to Ireland in 2021, I decided to give up flying for the rest of my life.  I travelled a lot by bus, train and bicycle within Tanzania and to Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The vast majority of people in Africa have never flown at all.  In Tanzania, I hosted overland travellers and long distance cyclists through the Couch Surfing and Warm Showers communities and enjoyed the company of several people who cycled from Cape Town to Cairo, from Alaska to Patagonia, from Australia to England (combined with ships).  Although I have never been outside Europe and Africa, I have worked with people from all over the world online, once staying up all night in Tanzania to attend a conference in Seattle virtually, and I have done extensive work online in Australia and New Zealand despite never having been there.  Now that I have given up flying for the rest of my life, I don’t think this takes from my quality of life, I think it adds to it.  I have travelled by ferry, train and bus in many countries in Europe, with my children and without, often bringing a bicycle with me on trains and buses and cycling parts of a journey.  For me, travel is much more about the journey than the destination.  People who fly miss out on all the best parts of what I consider the true travel experience.  Join the slow travel movement!

Elaine Baker