I decided to stop flying

First of all, thank you for all your lovely comments on my recent IG post, as well as one of my most “recent” blog posts.

At the end of 2019, I decided to stop flying in 2020. I will not fly “for fun” in 2020 (and beyond) if I manage to make it work for me and my life.

I decided to stop flying

Why I decided to stop flying

Why? I want to reduce my CO2 emissions and flying is one of the worst things I can do, really.

This BBC article about emissions from different modes of transport convinced me to give a year of not flying a shot.

After traveling the world in 2018 I needed a break from traveling, especially flying. My trip ended in February 2019 and at the end of 2019 I decided “no more”.

Of course, life is complex.

Firstly, I have friends and family all over the world, primarily across Europe and in the USA.

Secondly, I am with someone who’s from a different country and being with him will always involve paperwork and, being apart.

I did “long-distance” for over 3 years (USA – Europe) and being with someone, from a different country, means that I will do “long-distance” again, it’s part of it all and there’s no way around it.

I have family in the USA who I can only see if I jump on a plane. One of us will need to take a flight or we won’t be able to see each other.

This is where “for fun” comes in.

No more flying “for fun”

While I would jump on a plane to see my relatives in the USA, I will not fly “just because”.

No more flying in 2020 for:

  • techno
  • exotic locations
  • meditation courses

.. I consider “for fun” any flight to a destination that does not involve seeing friends and family (who I wouldn’t be able to see without one of us flying).

Homebase: Berlin

I live in Berlin and can easily visit countries such as the Netherlands, Poland, and Austria by train or bus. Luckily, I don’t need to take a flight to see most of my friends and family.

Of course, taking a bus or train is more time consuming and almost always more expensive than taking a plane (as of right now). These factors just need to be taken into consideration when planning future trips.

Berlin to Barcelona

Recently I looked into how to get from Berlin to Barcelona. I plan on visiting a friend I haven’t seen in almost 10 years.

It’s roughly a 2-hour long flight and a 20 something hour-long train journey. Return flights can be as cheap as 50 Euros and return train journeys seem to start at 200-300 Euros.

Do I consider flying to Barcelona to see my friend? Of course, but I’ll make that call when I’ll plan my trip.

Trips I’ve taken and trips I’ve planed

  • Taken: Poland in February 2020 by bus
  • Planned:
    • Austria by bus
    • Poland (again) by bus
    • Germany by train

Covid 19

I made my decision to not fly in 2020 prior to even knowing that Covid 19 existed. It’s my hope that the mess we are in right now will change how a lot of us approach flying and of course, the industry at large.

What about you?

What about you? If you currently fly, have you considered to stop flying? Where do your friends and family live? Would it be feasible for you?

I’d love to hear from you! Stay calm and safe! šŸ™‚



  1. Karim D
    May 6, 2020 / 2:39 PM

    Each to their own lifestyle, but I will always choose flying over buses or trains, especially if it’s a long distance I need to cover, and there are so many cheap flights nowadays. I’m not vegan – but I am pro-choice. And again; each to their own so long as the other person doesn’t try to force their lifestyle choices – attempt to guilt trip me – on others.

    Maybe you should consider staying at home and having a family insttead of roaming around the world – the world isn’t safe anymore for a white female.

    May Allah guide you.

    • Nina
      August 14, 2020 / 7:43 PM

      Hey Karim, I feel you. At the beginning, I wasn’t open to the idea when it was first presented to me. I ignored the fact that flying is horrific for the environment and I went along with it all. I eventually came to understand that it’s not so much about me, but everyone around me and choose not to fly. Guilt can only really be present, if we somehow, even just intuitivly, know that what we are doing, isn’t quite right. It’s a good feeling, our inner compass so to speak, something to be appreciative of. I am sure that you, just like everyone else, are doing the best that you can and can only kindly encourage you to educate yourself on flying.

  2. LJ
    May 9, 2020 / 3:07 PM

    It’s my one gripe with people who claim that they are environmentalists. Plane travel and what you do once you get there can be a huge blight on the environment. I know people try to offset it by buying carbon credits, but I believe that if we really want to preserve our earth, we need to recognize that huge changes in our lifestyles are going to be necessary. Sometimes I think people want it both ways — to live exactly as they do now (and also buy trendy minimalist products and say they’re environmentally-conscious) without having to give up things that they consider essential.

    Either way, still food for thought and glad you brought up the issue.

    • Nina
      August 14, 2020 / 7:52 PM

      Hey LJ,

      you are bringing up some very important and valid points!

      I had been ignorant of the facts for many years and a beloved person in my life, opened my eyes to it all although I wasn’t very receptive to his ideas in the beginning. I think sometimes, like with a lot of things, it takes time for it to set root.

      The difficulty is, that we are running out of time. Offsetting it by buying carbon credits is a noble idea, and I did look into it but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Maybe I am missing something (that’s, of course, possible) – from what I understand though it doesn’t address the issue (flying) and the money spent just supports other areas.

      Yes, huge changes are necessary and FAST. I totally get that we “want it all”, as of right now though, that doesn’t seem to be possible.

      Thank you so much for your input!

  3. Maria
    July 23, 2020 / 11:23 PM

    Hi Nina,
    I love flying. The last time I flew was 3 years ago: Casablanca-Paris-NY. I just love to be in airports. I like on the return from a trip to spend money on a perfume such as Hermes to my dad. But I understand your point. Actually, when I lived in the US before, I lived in the South and as I love NY, I would take overnight buses from VA to NYC. I liked being in a bus as that would give me plenty of time to reflect on my life. It was nice to traverse many states on the way to NY (VA, Delaware, NJ, New York). It was so cool to think of America that way, seeing the same I-Hops, McDonalds, and others in the middle of the night. My bus from VA to NYC would depart at midnight and arrive in Chinatown at 7 am. I also travelled before from Morocco to Spain by bus. Taking the bus from Rabat to Murcia was really neat as I could really surf through the streets and roads and roundabouts of Spain. It was deeper to travel by bus. I had travelled before to Barcelona by plane, but the switch was too fast. Coming back to airports I still like them because they allow me to do luxury shopping. Anyways, it’s all about the time, the budget, the age, the predisposition. I must confess I miss your presence on YouTube. Take care and hopefully you come one day to Morocco. You have a female friend here, educated like you in the US. Lots of lov, Maria

    • Nina
      August 14, 2020 / 7:57 PM

      Hey Maria,

      I am thrilled to hear from you! I understand that airports and flying have a certain allure, or can have if it’s a pleasant experience and all. Bus journeys are something fascinating as well – usually lots of good stories and fun or odd situations that I remember from my journeys.

      I’ve been completely off YouTube for over a year now – it went by so fast! I may or may not get back to it, but right now I don’t quite know what I would share.

      Much love from Berlin,

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