Adventures for the Young and Eco-conscious

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I like to live a life of no regrets (or as I like to say in my head, 'no ragrets', thanks to this tattoo which lives rent-free in my mind) namely because as a determinist I believe that all behaviour has a cause, and thus emotions like regrets, pride and guilt are illusory (and, yes, free-will is an illusion). Saying that though, if I had to have one regret - or, even better, one thing I could go back in the past and change about myself - it would be not being more eco conscious when I was younger.

And I say that as someone who would say that I grew up probably more eco-conscious than most - my parents were both young hippies and so I recycled, didn't eat meat and voted green. But when I turned 21 and started going off on my own adventures, the eco-conscious part of me took a step-back. I still voted green (from abroad by postal vote), I still recycled wherever possible (which it often wasn't), and I even stopped eating dairy (once I found out how bad it was for the cows and the environment). But I did many other things that were eco no-nos. I flew everywhere from Australia to Europe to the States to the Middle East to South East Asia and in-between. I used single-use plastics. I bought fast fashion. And so much more. And it didn't have to be that way.

So kids, I have written this post today to tell you about the adventures you can have whilst still being eco-conscious:

#1. Travel from Europe to Asia on the Trans Siberian Railway

eco conscious travel

Of all the non-eco-conscious things I did which I 'regret' the most flying is at the top, because it's so unnecessary - humans have been travelling across this planet almost since the dawn of time without flying, with maps and technology we definitely don't need to fly now. But at the same time one of the things I'm most grateful I did in the last 10 years was living in South East Asia. So how can people get from Europe to Asia without flying? The Mongolian Rally? No, cars are almost as bad as planes. Instead opt for the Trans Siberian railway! The Trans Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world, starting in Moscow and ending near the border with China. You can take it all in 'one go' or opt for getting on and off as you please. - The former taking 7 days. Tickets can cost as little as $191 (second class, with your own private bunk), which totally shuts up 'yeah but it's cheaper to fly' excuse up as this is actually way cheaper than flying - and think of all the things you'll see along the way!

#2. Take a Safari in Africa

advice for young people

As a general rule of thumb, I always encourage young people to avoid anything that involves animals - if you want to be eco-conscious, just leave them alone - no eating them, no zoos, no taking photos with them, no riding them.

Safaris are one of my only exceptions, but not in the uk - those are just slightly bigger zoos. No, I recommend going on safaris in Africa - for example a Botswanan elephant safari. Why? Because Africa is one of the only places left on the planet where animals have a big space to themselves and can be truly be wild. By financing these tours we can ensure that these spaces won't be sold to the highest bidder. And when safaris are this big, it's not too much of an intrusion into the animals lives. Seeing the big five in the wild has been one of my dreams ever since I found out what the big five were.

#3. Volunteer (With the Right People)

eco conscious travel

One of the most annoying things about trying to be eco-conscious is and having to then fight off people trying to take advantage of that left right and centre - be it from clothing brands that claim to be environmentally friendly but who use animal products like leather or animal friendly soaps that come smothered in plastic. Sometimes I feel like companies stick the label of eco-conscious on something and don't bother actually being eco-conscious. Volunteering is no different. So often I hear from people that they tried to volunteer but ended up in a corrupt business. But don't let it discourage you, if you want to volunteer abroad over the summer - and I really hope you do because it's so nice to be kind to people / animals / the planet - just make sure you do the research before hand. Look if the company has a hierarchy, read past reviews, ask the right questions.

#4. Try Wild Camping in the Nordic Countries


I recommend wild camping to eco-conscious youngsters for multiple reasons - 1) there's nothing like living in beautiful wild nature to make you truly love the world and have a real solid reason to fight for it 2) carry your food and house on your back, collecting your own water - doing these things can make you see how much we take for granted in the western world, and how unnecessary it is too. How crazy is it that we pay a company to fill a plastic bottle with water, which we then throw away, which then pollutes our water supply? Why don't we cut out the multiple middle people (who are often suffering under capitalism) and go straight back to the streams.

The reason I recommend the Nordic countries specifically is because there's a lot of nature up there and not a lot of people. Additionally, it's free to camp there. And, as the land of the elves, it's guaranteed adventure time!

#5. Wrap Up: Adventures for the Young and Eco-conscious

I hope this post has been helpful in your own adventures. I tried to cover multiple angles - how to get there, what to do (or not do) once you're there and where to stay. If you have any ideas of your own that you think I should add, or if I've said anything that's not factually true here, please let me know and I will change it. Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you did find this post useful and want to support us, the vegan movement and animal sanctuaries by reviewing the products that you might already be buying anyway (from your own couch, on your smartphone), plz consider downloading the Abillion app (previously called Abillionveg). If you click on the link below and use our code (TRAVELLINGWEASELS) when registering we get a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from this big *ss company so that we can keep on paying our rent and bills and affording food. If you don't feel like clicking on affiliate links, you can also just send us food. Or vote for universal basic housing. Thanks.

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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