Subtitle: Imagination taking power

From What If to What Next: Episode Twenty Seven

This new episode, one of my favourite so far, comes with a challenge. Can you listen to it and not reimagine your own relationship with flying or, as one of our guests puts it, being “twanged around in an aluminium sausage”?

I stopped flying in 2006. I travel to the far reaches of Europe on the train, travelling to Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Mallorca, as the extent of my reach. I long one day to take the Trans-Siberian express. Yes, there are now places in the world I probably will never reach, but that’s OK. I can honestly say that not flying has not diminished my quality of life at all. I travel slower, I see more. As we reach a time where airlines and travel companies are falling over themselves to tempt you back onto airplanes to head off on holiday, we are taking a pause, a breath, to ask a question that once felt heretical, but which now feels rather exciting… “what if we all stopped flying?”

This show features two amazing guests. Anna Hughes is an author and flight-free adventurer, and hasn’t been on a plane for more than a decade. She is the director of Flight Free UK, a campaign that asks people to give up flying for a year in order to break a habit and try different ways of travelling. With a background in sustainable transport campaigning and behaviour change, Anna is passionate about how our individual choices can change the world.

Ed Gillespie describes himself as a ‘recovering sustainability consultant’ . He is a Director of Greenpeace UK, a facilitator at the Forward Institute on responsible leadership and is an investor/mentor of numerous ethical environmental start-ups. You may also be enjoying him on the ‘Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts’ podcasts, or even have seen him compering the wonderful Imaginarium tent at the equally wonderful, but sadly postponed, for this year, Shambhala Festival.

I hope you really love this episode. If nothing else, you now know what a ‘recombobulation zone’. Do let us know what you think…


  1. Helena Whitson
    July 21, 2022

    I also stopped flying in 2006. What foreign travel I have done has been by rail or sail. The hardest thing about it is other people insisting that fear of flying is the underlying reason and also having to hear endless stories from friends about planet destroying trips to far flung places without totally losing it.

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