We are almost in the year 2020 now. Public transport works very well in western europe, and flights are cheaper than a night in a 2 star hotel.
I have personally flown for many times, from Switzerland to Scandinavia, and from Switzerland to all places where there was some work, or there was a conference. I always had a rule that I won’t fly to neighboring countries, but e.g. to Serbia I took a flight many times.
Yet, we have decided to change this. Things cannot continue how it is, as it’s just not really environmentally friendly – there are two ways of how to deal with the situation. Either I stop going to these places, and stay in more and just watch streams – or I need to use the trains where possible (and general public transport). I don’t coun’t flying as public transport in this context.
So, to stop going to conferences can be ruled our rather quickly – because simply I want to see my friends, so that’s not going to happen.
this leaves us with the train trip. There are a few things for me to consider:
- I can take material (Screwdrivers, pocket knifes etc)
- Less issues with baggage weight
- More comfortable (I’m not that small)
- Can be taken more spontaneously
- Slower for long haul
- More expensive (140 € to Hamburg, while a flight can be had at half)
So for the cost optimisation, there is a way to just go overboard and book a flatrate. In Switzerland, we have the GA; Germany has the Bahncard – and if you want it international, it’s actually doable by just booking an Interrail ticket for 3 months straight on. Works quite well.
So what do you do during the longer travel time? Well, you work on the train – everyone knows me, that I’m always traveling and working, so no big change. Just have to get a better/bigger backpack and travel with more stuff, so I can change into new clothes. More night trains, and more early hours I guess.
Since our team has grown over the last year, I’m also confident that our reaction time is still as good as it always has been, even though I’m probably a few countries away – say in Finland or somewhere. (Did I mention that catching northern lights is on my bucket list?
Right now, I’ve been doing this since July – and I’m now on my biggest trip.
I have a social event in Finland, and then a conference in Germany. I can combine that.
How does that work?
Take the train from Frauenfeld to Zurich, Zurich to Basel, Basel to Hamburg, sleep at a family members place, and on the second day you go from Hamburg via Flensburg to Fredricia, Kopenhagen and Stockholm onto the Boat, the Boat overnight has no reduction on Interrail unfortunately, but it has wifi too – from there I’ll travel to Turku.
Often I travel for work, or conferences to learn something new – or I might combine it with a bit of time-off – so I’ll also explore Finland by rail this Time. Last time I was up in Finland, I did not have the Interrail yet.
So this is one of the things I can do, to try and reduce our business footprint. IT uses lots of power, so we might be able to at least use renewal energy where available! Seeing that the trips take longer, I will take more time to prepare, and also, will take a few days in the destination to make sure I use the time wisely and not just chase from place A to place B. If you fly, you can go to another country just for the weekend, and see your partner. Long distance relationships? Work with planes – it’s just horrible on your footprint. So this might be helpful to also balance this out.