Growing numbers of travellers are abandoning air travel to help save the planet – even if it means spending 14 days on a train
It has taken Roger Tyers four days to reach Moscow by train from Kiev. His destination is Beijing: a trip that will take 14 days, with a couple of overnight stops along the way. Tyers, an environmental sociologist at the University of Southampton, is on his way to China to research attitudes to the environment, the climate emergency and personal responsibility. “Given that, I thought it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to fly,” he says over Skype from his hostel room.
It has been months in the planning – he had to convince his bosses to give him a month off to travel to and from China. Has it been a pain? “It definitely has. It’s a matter of getting your train schedule in line with your visa requirements. I didn’t realise I needed a visa to travel through Mongolia, even though I’m not stopping there. There have been moments when I’ve been close to giving up and either cancelling the whole trip or just booking a flight.” But he is glad he has stuck with it, he says. “I have to prove it is possible.”