Do you still fly?
I am going on a holiday soon. I am REALLY looking forward to it. My sister Tricia is coming up next week to see Jamie and the day after my birthday, we will drive down to her little cottage in the Blue Mountains. It's on the snow line there and although it's not snowing yet, it is cold and we'll have the stove going and wear jumpers, cardigans and gloves to stay warm. I'm almost hysterical with excitement when I think about it. Mind you, you would never believe it to see me, I am about the least likely person to be hysterical you'll ever meet. But my interior conversations tell another story. Remember the jungle monkeys.
We have everything planned. We'll drive the back roads, stop and browse around antique shops, rest when we feel like it and get there in our own sweet time. When we're there, I'll see my nephews, and Tricia wants to take me to a couple of places, but the rest of the time we'll just potter around her place, two "old" ladies knitting by the fire, taking walks in the cold mornings, drinking cups of tea and reading. It will be bliss. I'll take my computer with me because I'm still working on the book but even if I work a portion of each day, I foresee a wonderful time ahead and I'm looking forward to it so much.
My last holiday was a train trip Hanno and I took to Townsville in 2007, the one before that was Melbourne, by car, in 2004. But that was a buying trip for our shop, not a real holiday. The rest of the time, my "holidays" are spent here. I haven't been on a plane trip for at least ten years. I cannot justify the environmental cost to myself. When I travel back from Tricia's, I'll be on the train, even though it's more expensive than a cheap plane ticket.
I wonder if others feel the way I do. If it is for my own enjoyment, I will not fly. However, if I have to fly for business reasons, for instance, to promote my book, which I've already been asked about, I will. If I ever travel overseas again it will only be to promote the book if I get a sale in the US or the UK, then I'll go to America and to Sweden on the way home and pay a carbon tax. Otherwise I'll stay in Australia and drive or take the train to far off places.
I was offered a trip to Singapore in 2009 when I was a finalist in a blogging thing, I refused that because it involved flying over there. Tricia has offered to buy me a ticket to Ireland in August. She and our cousin Susie, are going, and Tricia thought I'd like to go too. Well I would, but I won't.
There is not a lot written about the environmental costs of flying now but the problem hasn't gone away. I'd also like to know a lot more about carbon offsets and how the money paid in carbon taxes is used. If you pay $50 on top of your flight fare and that money goes towards planting trees - that seems a bit weak to me. Who monitors that? Who plants the trees and where are they planted? It all seems a bit secretive. Is anyone else concerned about this aspect of travel? Do your work and travel plans play a part in your simple life?