Life is simple when on the road. You mostly think of what to see, what to eat and where to sleep. Traveling cuts you out of your little world, your habits and enables you to get in touch with what you truly like & truly need. In that sense, traveling can help you go Green.
As you may have seen, we just came back from our latest road trip, one that took us from our base in Luxembourg to Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and a bit of Italy. It was a fantastic road trip. Our memories are filled with incredible landscapes, starry nights, and the simple joy of the great moments we shared.
It made me realize once more how little you truly need to be happy. Yes, I needed to be reminded! Instead of stuff, what you truly need is time. Time to relax and unwind, time to have fun, time to spend with yourself, with your friends, with your partner. Time to read a book, to enjoy a sunset, to watch the stars, time to dream, time to explore… Time is the new most expensive commodity!
How traveling can help you go Green
Traveling makes you wiser, traveling makes you smarter. By opening to the World, I would even dare to say that traveling makes you a better person! But traveling can also help you become Green. It can help you form long lasting habits that will help you be happier and will help the planet. Here is how:
Traveling light shows you that you don’t need that much stuff
Chances are that, on your last vacation, you had to fit everything you needed in a suitcase, or in our case, in the trunk of our car. No extensive wardrobe, not that many grooming products, no fancy cooking ustensiles, barely any electronic gadgets…
Being back home, I realized we should slim down our belonging further down. Mr A and I moved many times, so we jumped on the minimalist wagon a while back. Yet, I realized we could still slim down on various items including clothes and cooking ustensiles. Think about it, I bet you can too.
Traveling shows you that driving isn’t the sole option
Chances are that during your vacation, you walked a lot more than at home. You probably took public transports in the city you were visiting or adventured on a bike…
Why not continue this at home? You probably will argue that you don’t have time but if you try, you may soon realize that walking or cycling offers a lot of benefits compare to the stress of your car. Public transport might give you a chance to read the great books you’ve been buying and that are accumulating on a shelve, undisturbed.
When living in London, Mr A and I cycled to work pretty much everyday. Yes in London! And we are still alive, I may add! True be told, we never felt as good as during this time. OK, coming back from the pub a little tipsy isn’t the safest thing to do but it feels great!! 😉
Traveling makes it easy to save Ressources
Long showers at the camp site? probably not! After a day at the beach? Probably not either!
Read the tale of the shower coin to see that a shower doesn’t need to be that long, to bring true happiness.
Leaving the tap open when brushing your teeth? Nope, it turns off automatically anyway! (ok it depends where you are staying of course!)
Doing the dishes? Yes , but very efficiently.
Washing your clothes everyday? Ain’t nobody has time for that!
What about electricity?
If you are staying in a hotel, all lights will probably turn off automatically when you take your card and leave the room.
If you are staying in a camping or off the grid, you probably won’t have electricity or very limited access. During our last trip, we had a super cute solar lamp (I’ll show you soon) and a manual hand torch. That’s it! And it was no only sufficient but very romantic!
Our phones were the only things that required charging and we would do so while taking our shower or while driving. This may sound far less than perfect especially since we would spend days with less than 20% of battery life. It was actually a good thing. We had to limit our usage to important things, like posting one picture a day on Instagram ;-), and researching places and directions.
At home, it’s really easy to keep up with the good habits: unplug electronics, turn off lights when leaving a room, limit the usage of the TV… Why not try to turn off your phone as well?!
Traveling makes it easy to not buy Stuff
You have a limited space when traveling, let it be your suitcase or the trunk of your car. There is just no way to bring back this huge statue or this painting so you look at it, photography it and forget about it.
Do the same when you are back at home. Think twice or maybe 3 times before buying something. Do you really need it? Will you really use it? Is it going to make you truly happy?
In addition, I have this little simple rule which you might want to adopt too: Every time I buy something new, something old has to go. It must be at least of the same volume and weight. This way I know, the next time we move, we won’t have more stuff. Try it! It’s easier than you think. I don’t put things in the trash. I sell things on eBay or donate them. Usually I will even try to sell something before I consider buying something else. The ‘buying’ is the reward.
Traveling makes you mindful
I recall driving along this beautiful road, enjoying the sight, when something attracted my eyes. It took me a few moments to understand this was a huge pile of rubbish. At the next turn, there was another one, and another one…
“I didn’t do this directly, it’s not my rubbish” I told myself, and yet, I was sad that such beautiful landscape was literally trashed.
When you throw something away, you have to keep in mind that there is no ‘away’. The Earth is huge and yet ‘away’ is somewhere. It might not be your back garden, but it might be someone else back garden. It might not be directly visible, but it is somewhere and no place on Earth deserve to receive trash. None.
We are throwing things away like they are going to disappear. They are gone from our eye sight, so all is ok. Really it’s not. Even if they get burned and they do disappear, they have an impact, on our air, our water, our environment. And we all share the same.
Traveling can make you mindful, amongst other things, of the reality of trash.
Keep this in mind when you are at home and reduce the amount of things you put in the bin.
Traveling let you enjoy the simple things in life
Isn’t it marvelous to enjoy the simple things of life? Taking time to cook a delicious meal from scratch. Simply watching a sunset and marveling at its beauty. Sipping on a glass of wine while doing so adds bonus points! Hiking in a forest, taking a long stroll by the beach. Taking a nap by the shade of a tree, feeling a light breeze on your skin. Reading a good book while sitting comfortably on a porch. Doing nothing but enjoying good company. Simply being there in the moment…
Why not continue to feel the summer vibes by savoring such simple things at home. Go for a walk after diner instead of turning on the tv. Grab a book and sit on your balcony. Get up a little earlier and take time for yourself, watch the sunrise while sipping on your coffee rather than reading depressing news….
Click on the image above to hear the coffee brewing! You can like it too!
Green is the new Black so if you haven’t yet been convinced that going Green is better for yourself and for the Planet, give it a try. I doubt you will regret it!