Tell us some more about your trip
I am location independent. This gives me the possibility to travel slow and to feel a bit more the local life wherever I stay.
At the beginning of December, I had no obligation at all regarding location except being in France by the end of December to meet my family. So, after staying one month in Bulgaria, I was considering 2 options:
- staying longer in Bulgaria and flying back to France just before Christmas,
- or traveling by land during a couple of weeks through Central Europe.
What made you decide to choose train over plane?
I knew that I would come back to Bulgaria next year so there was no special need to stay longer there at that moment.
On the contrary, I saw many advantages in choosing the second option:
Traveling by train is more eco-friendly than flying. So, as I try to reduce my carbon footprint, I always consider that option… as long as I don’t have to cross an ocean.
It allows you to make some stops on the way, for a few hours… or a few days.
Traveling by land allows you to see more about the country, the countryside, the landscapes, small towns and villages that you go across.
Traveling by train is very comfortable: you have more space, more light, you can work easily, you can sleep, you can have a walk through the carriages and stretch your legs, you can take nice pictures, etc.
What did you enjoy most about your trip?
The main thing I liked is that it gave me the opportunity to travel across Central Europe for the first time. To stay in Belgrade, Budapest, Prague and Frankfurt and also to meet friends who are living there.
Also I found myself very productive during the train rides, alternating working with my computer, enjoying the scenery, relaxing, etc. And I could even use free wifi during most part of the way. And finally I really enjoy the rhythm of this trip. Basically I was traveling one full day, then staying 4 or 5 days at a city. I would have enjoyed to stay longer at each place of course, but that was not the purpose of this trip.
“I found myself very productive during the train rides, alternating working with my computer, enjoying the scenery, relaxing.”
What do other people say to you when you tell them about your trip?
As a first reaction, people are quite surprised: “Oh! That’s a long trip! Why didn’t you fly?”. They immediately think that traveling such a long way by train is a waste of time and money. Then, of course, I explain my context and my reasons. For sure, being a location independent professional helps to travel slow. When I was an employee myself and had to be at the office for Mondays to Fridays, it was harder to travel slow. I mean, it was almost impossible on weekends, except traveling very short distance from home.
Finally, many people tell me that my choice is probably more expensive than flying, especially with a low cost airline. Sometimes it’s true but not always. And you need to consider the whole costs of the trip, including food (often more expensive in airports), transportation from/to airport compared to train station, etc. If you are smart about it you can actually have a holiday and save some money while doing so.
Would you have a recommendation for other nomads?
To those who want to reduce their environmental footprint, I would recommend to at least consider train and/or bus as alternative options each time they are about to book a flight. It may requires to leave earlier than previously planned, or to come back later, but that might not be a big deal. Maybe that can even turn out into an opportunity to stop in other cities on the way, to meet friends you haven’t seen for long, to visit a possible partner for your business, etc. And maybe, even if it costs you a bit more, even if you will lose a bit of time, the general experience can be much better. You can also feel better, because you’ve done your part of the job regarding global climate change, and you’ve put your thoughts and words into action.
In this sustainable travel series we highlight Digital Nomads that are trying to travel more sustainable. Even though it’s sometimes unavoidable to travel by plane, we hope this series will provide you with some inspiration to think about your own journeys. Do you have a story to share? Make sure to leave a comment below and tell us what you did. We love to hear more about sustainable travel idea’s.