Leaving on a jet plane: Victoria Jackson weighs up the pros and cons of those sunny summer holidays abroad
I’m a bit excited. I’ve booked a plane flight. After not leaving the country for more than two years through all the lockdowns and travel restrictions, I’m finally heading off on a foreign holiday. Not that there’s anything wrong with a staycation and holidaying closer to home — and I’ve had a few now so I know what I’m talking about. But I’m a big sun lover and England can’t always deliver the heat that I’m craving. There’s plenty of planning to do as I’m completely out of the travelling habit, so much so that my passport expired more than a year ago!
Paperwork sorted, it’s now my holiday wardrobe that needs consideration. I’m in a delightful quandary about what summer clothes to pack, mulling over bikini options and fave sundresses — items I haven’t had the chance to wear for a couple of years. I don’t think I’ve spent this long fussily packing and repacking since I was six years old and given a strict limit on the number of stuffed toys I could take on the family holiday to France.
In light relief from the clothing dilemmas and the hunt for lost sunglasses, I checked out local vegetarian restaurants, stocked up on ‘coral-friendly’ sunscreen (who knew?), and loaded up a few e-books rather than buying paper copies.
The routine small gestures of ahimsa (non harming). But I don’t feel good about it. It’s not going to outweigh the carbon footprint of an international flight. And I am recalling how much I enjoyed the quiet skies and lower air pollution during the strictest lockdown in England when all transport was reduced. Now I feel guilty that I’m contributing to air and noise pollution just so I can enjoy some better weather. Perhaps if while I’m on holiday, I eat my body weight in all my favourite Mediterranean veggies and fruits — peppers, aubergines, figs, watermelon — could I claim that I’ve done an environmental good deed and saved the food miles rather than buying such imported products at my local market at home?
Given the guilty mind games that I’m playing, I probably shouldn’t also confess that when I said I’d booked a flight, I’ve actually booked three! So that’s three times the environmental cost and three times the guilt…but hopefully also three times the holiday fun…as well as three times the watermelon consumption!