Five reasons to celebrate #flightshame?

Let’s be honest, the past 18 months hasn’t been full of unbridled enthusiasm towards those of us who spend our lives jetting off to exotic locations.

#flightshame – the movement to reduce global carbon emissions by cutting back on personal air travel – has taken hold in the public’s imaginations due to efforts from climate activists such as Greta Thunberg.

All of a sudden, international travel was no longer the inspirational pursuit of free-minded world citizens – it was something altogether less wholesome.

But flight shame – or flygskam in its native Swedish – is here to stay.

And, actually, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

In fact, for the intrepid traveller who relishes the route less taken, this opens up a world of possibilities which had previously been confined to a mental compartment labelled ‘outdated.’

Think about it, romantic train journeys traversing snow-covered highlands, physically transforming bicycle rides which plant you firmly amongst the landscape, ferries, hiking, sailboats and buses – the possibilities for overland (or sea) adventure are practically endless.

So, here at battleface we like to celebrate the positives about travel. And what better way than whetting our travel appetites with some of the best things about reducing our carbon footprints?

Rediscover your own backyard

It’s easy to romanticise the exotic locations that always seem to exist a nine-hour flight away.

But look closer to home. There’s highlands and lowlands and national parks and tumbledown castles. In fact, as proven by ‘microadventures’ proponent Alastair Humphreys, your own backyard is alive with history, challenge, risk and reward.

Savour the slow travel revolution

For too long, travel has been about ‘getting somewhere quickly in order to enjoy it’. But travel – the act of moving from A to B – can be every bit as rewarding as the final destination. Look out the window, stop off in quaint little villages, meet people.

The team from the Last Overland expedition – currently making their way from Singapore to London in a 1955 Series One Land Rover – aim to arrive in the UK within 100 days.

Plan routes like an old-timey explorer

Clicking on a flight and entering your credit card information is certainly easy.

But laying out a battered old map on the kitchen table and navigating an overland route which meanders ever closer to your destination through a combination of buses, trains and ferries makes you feel like a real explorer. Just don’t forget your pith helmet.

Get closer to nature

The internal combustion engine is great. But there’s nothing quite like being propelled through waves as the wind fills a sail above you. Or the feeling of exhilaration as that arduous cycle uphill gradually levels out and then descends into a white-knuckle downhill ride.

In fact, being transported by gravity, a roaring river or wind power lifts you out of the everyday humdrum like nothing else.

Take Fredrika Ek, for example, a Swedish cyclist and former European Adventurer of the Year, who travelled 51,000km around the world on pedal power alone.

Get in shape

There’s nothing as low-carbon as the human body. And we’re actually pretty good at propelling ourselves through the world. With a little practice, of course.

Ditch the fossil fuels entirely and get hiking, cycling or rowing and you’ll lose weight – as well as gain a clean conscience about your travel lifestyle.

Adventurer and explorer Christine Dennison trains fastidiously before embarking on an expedition – making sure she’s in tiptop physical condition for every challenge she may face.