Sustainable travel: training to trainings
In the past few years, the goals of the sustainable travel initiative were relatively easy to achieve. Most of us had a two-year travel stop due to Covid-19. Even if we did travel, it was often only domestically, as it was difficult to obtain all necessary permissions to go abroad. Now that we are collectively ignoring Covid-19, conferences in all kinds of destinations are happing once more. This also means there is an increased number of people travelling again. Travelling sustainably has become more relevant than ever. Within our initiative group, we will spend the next few months telling you where and, more importantly, how this went.
Over 12 hours by train
A twelve-hour train trip is daunting. I convinced myself that it was less stressful than going by plane, keeping in mind the recent chaos at Schiphol and other airports. Plus, opting for air travel to Aarhus, Denmark, would entail (1) transferring in Copenhagen and (2) taking a shuttlebus to the actual city centre of Aarhus. No, instead I choose the green route, saving the planet and saving myself some stress.
During the trip, however, you have a lot of moments to think, doubt and reconsider your decisions. When you hoist your luggage up and down stairs for example, you imagine the escalators which are mostly widely available at airports. Or when you are stranded at a train station in the middle of nowhere, waiting for your next train to arrive, you think about the nice hustle and bustle airports always tend to have. Life is always a little bleaker when you are stuck in a train for hours with 30-degree weather.
A desolate Danish train station
Once you have suffered trough it, and you arrive at your destination, you can also think a little clearer again. You talk with colleagues whose luggage was lost somewhere between home and Copenhagen, and you do not talk with colleagues who are stuck in Copenhagen. You hear about the hardships of the shuttlebus, which leaves and arrives at ungodly times. On top of that, I also realize that I might romanticize the idea of airports just a little too much. Realistically, small, local airports might not have that fun holiday crowd, and the chances of broken-down or non-existent escalators are relatively big too.
All in all, even a twelve-hour trip is do-able. I survived; I am sure others can too. I did accumulate some tips for you to consider, if you plan on a similarly long trip.
- Bring enough to drink and snack. You do not know if delays stop you from getting something at your layovers.
- Have enough entertainment to keep yourself occupied.
- Travel together if you can. Suffering together is always more pleasant than suffering alone.
- Do not stress. Yes, delays are annoying, but since you are not the driver of the train, nor part of the railway management system, you cannot do anything about it anyway. Even if you miss your train, you can figure out what to do next at your next layover.