This is my monthly summary post with high points of the month, not-so-high-points and what’s next for Soul Travel Blog. This post may contain affiliate links. For more on affiliates please read my Editorial Policy.
It’s not been a month of mountains, train journeys and exotic travels (although you can read about some of those on the blog in my latest collaboration!), but it has been a month of change.
One year after leaving Amsterdam (my former home), I returned to do a much better job of packing up than I had last time. A storage unit filled with boxes of things that I hadn’t needed in the last year was waiting for me to clear out / sell on / give away, so I set about that. I was reminded of how much of a weight is lifted when clearing-out or tidying up possessions.. although there were some hard moments (like saying goodbye to my bike!) Do you feel the same when getting ride of things?
Going Amsterdam was a reminder of how beautiful this Dutch city is, but also how sustainability is championed by so many Dutch companies – case in point – I got to try my hand at clearing out some of the plastic from Amsterdam’s canals!
In the wider world September has seen tumult in travel – in the airline business in particular. Here in Europe Ryanair has come under intense criticism for cancelling thousands of flights and failing to inform passengers of their rights, while Monarch, one of the UK’s largest charter airlines has gone bust due to declining travel to the Middle East & Turkey (its top markets). One can’t help but wonder if the decreased air capacity is a good thing (given the exponential growth in budget airlines and resulting carbon emissions) or whether we are just further concentrating tourism on places that already have more than enough visitors?
Where I’ve been in September.
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands – for a bit of life admin / clearing out and a chance to clean up Amsterdam’s canals!
Going on a canal trip with a difference! Plastic fishing in Amsterdam with Plastic Whale to be specific. This company caught my eye in press written about their mission: to become extinct! Put simply, they fish plastic out of Amsterdam’s canals with the help of tourists / companies on team-building days, etc (their boat trips are open to anyone and can be booked via Airbnb). They then use much of the plastic fished out to make more boats (so that they can offer more plastic fishing trips) and have 7 boats already. Today they operate in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and have ambitious plans to spread beyond the Netherlands in the future.
If you find yourself in Amsterdam this a great way to have a positive impact as a tourist, and also to get to experience the Amsterdam canals on a small boat – like the locals do!
All the moving around and seasons changing (it’s looking very autumnal here in London) resulted in a few days in bed with the stomach flu. Fortunately I’m on the mend 🙂
September Sustainable Travel Rating.
I’ve only taken one trip this month, but I will be writing more about this in the future from a more data-driven perspective! Fun fact – did you know that only 2% of fliers, globally, currently offset their carbon?
Brownie Points: Doing my bit for Amsterdam’s canals and biking around the city. I also stayed one night at the culturally conscious Generator Hostel there (a good option for more budget friendly accommodation)
Not so Great: Flying to Amsterdam vs taking the train. At 75 euros vs 250 euros taking the more sustainable option was not financially sustainable. The question has to be asked, why? Why is flying so cheap? Have we lost perspective on the true cost of travel? Clearly, a lot of work needs to be done to make train travel more affordable (or flying more expensive..). What do you think?
In summary: My carbon footprint is higher than I would like it to be due to the flying. So I’m giving myself another 7/10!
September Blog Posts.
It’s been a productive month writing!
- Tips for Travelling Responsibly in Iran
- My Experience Trekking in the Sham Valley in Ladakh, Indian Himalayas
- Travelling in Ladakh – the Road from Leh to Sumur, Nubra
- Discovering the beautiful Shyok Valley in Nubra, Ladakh
- A New Way to Travel and Give Back in Maharashtra, India
- Great Rail Journeys – With Epic Views! (Collaboration)
- Exploring Colourful Kutch and its Nomadic Communities in Gujarat, India
Other September Posts / Mentions
You can read more in these posts on other sites from the last month:
- Check out my Interview with Green City Trips here
- I got mentioned in the New York Times!! Read their article about how Sustainable Travel can be budget-friendly here.
- Thanks to Wander With Jo for including my tips in her Boutique Hotel Guide
- This month saw World Tourism Day! 2017 is a special one as 2017 is the International year of Sustainable Tourism (as named by the UN) So I was delighted to be part of friend Miss Filatelista’s post full of Transformative Ethical Travel Experiences and List of Travellers Dedicated to Responsible Travel
Instagram Post of the Month.
The stunning scenery of Ladakh, Indian Himalayas wins many hearts, not only mine… <3
#trekking is one of the best ways to see the beautiful mountains and landscapes of Ladakh! Many people cover long distances by car for sightseeing in Ladakh, and while that’s one way to see things, you miss out on all of the beauty you can’t see from the road. Treks range from one day to 7 and vary in difficulty! Being a newbie I did a 3 day “baby trek” in the sham valley. Definitely not something for babies 😉 but it was doable and I got to see some stunning landscapes – no sightseers or cars in sight! You can read more about it on soultravelblog.com of course 😉 Have you tried trekking in Ladakh? #soultravelblog
I’m now back in London for a few weeks, post-clear out in Amsterdam.
Travel-wise, I’m excited to be heading back to South Asia in November! I’ll be heading back to India, with Bangladesh on the cards for the end of the year, and I’m also partnering with Atma Immersive Journeys to discover Maharashtra in a way that truly gives back to the community! Read more about my trip and how you can be part of it here.
In the meantime, if you’ve got suggestions or requests please get in touch! Where would you like me to write about next?
Thank You for Reading!
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