Who are we?
Hello, we are Charlotte and David, and we run the travel blog, No Fixed Home. We are passionate about the environment, so it’s really important to us that we travel as green as we can. Seeing how beautiful the world is on our travels makes us feel strongly about protecting it. Read on to find out how our Water-to-Go filter bottles have helped us to achieve this goal, as well as some of our other top eco-friendly travel tips.
Before leaving for our travels, we were based in Brighton, UK, where Charlotte is a librarian and David is a chef. Our adventure started in November 2017 with a month’s stay in Nepal, where we did some trekking and fell in love with the Nepalese people and their delicious food (seriously, the momos are to die for!) Then came three months in beautiful, chaotic and incredible India. We also travelled around Sri Lanka for a month, taking in lush green tea plantations, picture-perfect beaches and wild elephants.
The next leg of our trip has taken us to South East Asia, where after spending six weeks getting to know Thailand, Cambodia captured our hearts. Right now we are in the quiet leafy city of Siem Reap which lies in the shadow of the mighty Angkor Wat. After falling for this beautiful country with its friendly people and yummy food, we decided to rent a flat here for a couple of months.
Our top tips for eco-friendly travel
Looking after this incredible planet is something that we feel very strongly about. We all have a duty to travel responsibly. For us, that means making sure that our travels don’t have a negative impact on the places we visit. Here are just a few of our top tips on how to travel green – or you can check out the full article here.
Just Say No (To Plastic)
Plastic is in the news all the time recently, and we have seen the effects of it first hand on our travels. We are all aware of the impact that unnecessary plastic has on the environment. Some people need plastic straws, and that’s ok. But why not consider alternatives such as metal or bamboo – they take up very little space in your luggage!
We also travel with a handy spork each so we can avoid plastic cutlery. Occasionally the language barrier causes amusing confusion – once we asked for no straw only to get given more straws! It’s easy enough to carry reusable bags and say no to plastic carrier bags as well. While we’re on the topic of plastic…
Bring Your Own Bottle
No, not like that. We mean bring your own water bottle! Consider you are visiting a hot country – you know that you’ll need to stay hydrated and drink at least 2 litres of water a day. But in places where you are not advised to drink the tap water, this can pose a problem. Imagine the mountain of plastic bottles that would be produced by just one person on a two week visit, and you can see how quickly the rubbish would pile up. Instead of buying many single-use plastic bottles, you could buy a refillable one and top up whenever you find safe drinking water. However, just finding safe drinking water can be a challenge in some parts of the world. Fear not – there is a really easy solution!
We love our Water- to-Go bottles with their built-in filters. We can fill them with water from any tap and they make it drinkable. We’ve used them to drink the tap water all over Asia and haven’t had any problems, it’s brilliant. We even filled them from outdoor streams and waterfalls while we were on our trek in Nepal, so we were able to stay hydrated on the long days of hiking without adding any plastic waste to the beautiful mountain scenery. And as well as saving the environment, they also help us save money – it’s a win-win!
In fact, we calculated that our Water-to-Go bottles will save us a whopping £546 EACH over a whole year on the road… that’s a whole lot more cash in the travel fund! Not only that but we’ll have avoided using 1400 plastic bottles.
These Feet Are Made For Walking
One way of leaving a smaller travel footprint? Having smaller feet of course! Just kidding, but actually using your feet is a great way to travel green. We walk A LOT while we’re travelling and it really is the best way of getting to know a place. Being on the ground, soaking up the sights and smells, interacting with the people you meet on the street, its all part of the experience!
Don’t be worried about getting lost, some of the best places we’ve seen are a direct result of just arriving in a place and going for a wander. Just don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re pounding the pavements – exploring on foot can be hot work!
Bus(t) a Move
Getting public transport in other countries is definitely an experience! We’ve had amazing train journeys, and we’ve had ones which are akin to torture. But we wouldn’t change it for the world. From being tightly packed into a speeding local bus in Sri Lanka’s hill country, holding on for dear life, to sharing food and stories with extended families on long Indian train journeys. These experiences have shaped our journeys and the way we view the countries we’ve visited.
You can learn so much more about a culture by sitting on a bus than you can sealed in an air conditioned taxi any day. And we all know that sharing transport leaves a smaller travel footprint, wherever you are in the world.
We’re all familiar with the saying “Leave only footprints, take only memories” but it is worth remembering. There is simply no excuse for leaving rubbish, ever. Yes you may be visiting a place where public bins are few and far between, but seriously, just take it with you. It doesn’t matter if there is already lots of rubbish there, don’t add to the problem. Because we take our Water-to-Go bottles everywhere with us, we’re never caught in a situation where we have empty plastic bottles and no way to dispose of them.
Stay on marked paths, try to avoid trampling over plants and do your very best not to leave any trace of your visit.
Some of our best travel moments so far
There have been some amazing and unforgettable moments on our trip so far, and there are bound to be many more. We’re both huge animal lovers, so seeing elephants in the wild has got to be a standout memory. In Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka, we were lucky enough to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. To see a large male casually stroll right past our jeep, and a family with babies playing in a watering hole was just one of the most incredible things we’ve ever seen – it was quite emotional!
Another highlight was a dawn pilgrimage at the top of Adam’s Peak, also in Sri Lanka – getting up at 2am and walking to the top, before watching the sun come up surrounded by people of many different faiths from all over the world was an incredible experience. Spending Charlotte’s birthday snorkelling in crystal clear waters off the coast of a perfect Thai island, or getting coated from head to toe in colourful paint as part of India’s Holi celebrations… there are almost too many moments to mention!
What does the future hold for us?
Our Water-to-Go bottles may have prevented us from getting any actual bugs on our trip, but the travel bug has seriously got hold of us! We feel like we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of all the incredible places in the world that are waiting to be explored. We’re returning back to the UK in October, as there are jobs, friends and family to get back to. But we have dreams of becoming location independent and finding a way of travelling long term. Just watch this space!
If you want to follow our adventures you can head over to www.nofixedhome.com and subscribe via email. Our website features eco-friendly travel tips, travel inspiration and vegan recipes. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so why not come and say hi!