I have this brilliant idea that no one else thinks is a brilliant idea. Here it is: you should only be allows to marry someone who lives within a 500 km radius of your birth place. I'm sure you can see the genius in this idea. But just in case it needs explaining...
The thing is that these days people travel so much. Its pretty much a right of passage to take a year off between high school and work/uni to pop over to the UK or South America, work, bum around a bit, have a blast, find yourself and meet the love of your life. This is a grave and terrible scenario because what happens next is that you move back to Australia settle down and have babies without the support of one set of grandparents, siblings and little cousins for the kids to play with. Said grandparents who live on the other side of the world of course feel pretty sad about missing out on seeing their own offspring, let alone their own grandchildren and then have to visit every second summer and on the summer they don't visit it is expected that you visit them. And if you don't, well, you have family that you barely know. Cousins grow up never having shared a Christmas day, Granny's don't know what size cloths to send, and siblings never get to just pop over for a cuppa and do the dishes for each other after sleepless nights with newborns. Its heartbreaking. I know this because Adam is English and we have family in England that we miss terribly.
We foolishly fell in love many many moons ago when I thought it romantic to shack up with a foreigner. I'm not entirely sure I could have helped falling in love, but had Adam never traveled to Australia we would have never met and I would be none the wiser. But he did travel, the rest is history. So we, like many others, find our selves in this position where we would love to visit England and have family visit here but, alas, the carbon.
Its serious, all this air travel and I don't like it. FIFO's don't just travel from Perth to Tom Price now, they come from New Zealand to Tom Price or Perth to South Africa. Kids fly over east ever school holidays to visit their Dads, and geez, do we love to holiday! Traveling overseas is so common - how can it be special if you go overseas twice a year? There is no 'trip of a lifetime' anymore, nowhere is new, everyone has been there before.
All that said, we are going back to England for Christmas this year. It has been about 6 years since our last visit and about 4 years since anyone has visited us so its due. Parents are getting older, babies have been born and teenagers are growing into adults. We are about to spew out some serious carbon. But we call them love miles and while we try to limit them, they are unavoidable.
Offsetting is not the answer to all of this but its a little something that is better than nothing - actually its not better than nothing, nothing is better, as in, not flying is better. Got that? Anyway, I offset our carbon emissions for the three of us for the flights to London and a few internal Europe flights too. According to Carbon Neutral we will produce 18.53 tonnes of carbon for which 111 trees need to be planted. It cost $416, which does seem a lot, but then, I nearly spent that much on a night out to see Beyonce (tickets, dinner, babysitter). I think a contributing to a safe environmental future is worth more than Beyonce - bless her.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to this trip of ours. We are going to exciting places that will be new for us and we will be renewing relationships with old friends and family.We just try for minimal air travel and where we do fly, we offset and we really look forward to it as a special, exciting time because it will be a while until we fly again.