The Moral Dilemma of Travelling for Events Too Much

  • In recent weeks I’ve been observing people on my Facebook.. I apparently have 1871 Facebook friends, and there is a large group of them who constantly post of their travels to conferences representing this and that. I thought I have a good list, but no it can never compare to those who seem to do it for a living. And I thought to myself, “Geez. How long more am I going to do this?”
  • S recently got angsty about someone and posted an FB comment along the lines of “what else are you doing aside from appearing on international platforms making yourself seem important”. The person has been doing that for 10 years. And I went “I will never let myself be that kind of person.”
  • S finally decided she won’t be joining us for COP this year. She is very firm her focus on is food security issues and she (a) does not have to attend COP to be able to meet government people (b) thinks climate change is too broad a topic (c) will still continue contributing to the team.
  • Tonight I was walking home with C and then he mentioned he is resigning from his job tomorrow because they found out he was wearing double hats and made him choose his job or his volunteer work. He chose the latter.
  • I’m reminded what D said about I and that he is a very conscious person and is very selective about flying over to another place for whatever reasons.

So tonight when I came home, I listed all those times I had to travel out of Singapore since 2012. So in the last 4 years, I made 7 trips out for environmental events (8th is coming up), 2 work trips, 1 trip to volunteer, and 2 trips for personal reasons. I am not even counting the regular bus travels I make between SG and JB. And here I saw a few things:

  • Organisations- be it NGOs, Private Companies and Government Bodies, are willing to sponsor young people to regional/ international events. And I am thankful I am one of the beneficiaries who had most of my flights and accommodation sponsored.
  • I am at this point where I am asking myself, so in the last 4 years, with the things I have been given, and exposed to, how have I improved and how have I contributed back to Singapore? I still find it hard for me to answer these questions.
  • How long more will I try to stay on and tap on to these privileges? When am I going to move aside and give way for other people to develop themselves too? To be honest, going to COP again this year, although it is only my 2nd time, would be a good reminder for me to assess if I really need to attend COP.
  • And that is why I think yesterday, with the meetings and the phone calls and the long email, focusing on the larger picture was exciting for me. Exciting because it was meaningful. If I am going to be more strategic about this, then 2016 will be the year where I have to prove myself there has got to be more in the (green) life than just what I am doing now. The 6th year milestone will be the year where everything has got to come to a closure.
Events which caused Lastrina to have large carbon footprint
Events Date Location Airline How was it funded? Accommodation How was it funded?
Holiday in London Dec-15 London, UK to SG Qatar Airways Paid for by company Thistle Trafalgar Square Paid for by F
Holiday in Paris Dec-15 Paris, France N.A N.A Airbnb Champs Elysees Apartments + Disney’s Newport Bay Club Paid for by F
COP 21 Dec-15 SG to Paris, France Qatar Airways Paid for by company Airbnb apartment at Belleville/Menilmontant district Self-funded. Cost-sharing with M and C
Work Trip Oct-15 Batam, Indonesia Batam Fast Ferry Paid for by company Manisee Homestay Paid for by Company
PSM Sep-15 SG to Kuala Lumpur and then Selangor, Malaysia and then back to KL and finally back to SG *The only time I took a bus outwards and inwards. Luxury Coach Self-funded (but received per diem also) Ontok-Ontok Enterprise hostel Provided by Organiser
*Visit Relative Aug-15 SG to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and back to SG Bus outwards and Flight inwards. AirAisa Self-funded Stayed at Relative’s house N.A
IWCC May-15 SG to Malacca via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and back to SG Singapore Airlines Fully Sponsored Hotel Fully Sponsored
AYPVC Feb-15 SG to Yangon, Myanmar and back Singapore Airlines Fully Sponsored Hotel + Guesthouse Fully Sponsored
COP 20 Dec-14 Brazil-Lima-Cusco-Lima- Brazil LAN Fully Sponsored Mix of Airbnb and Hostel Airbnb was fully sponsored
COP20 Dec-14 SG-Dubai-Brazil and then Brazil-Dubai-SG Emirates Fully Sponsored Airbnb Fully Sponsored
*Time Off Oct-14 Penang to Bangkok, Thailand AirAsia Self-funded Bunked in C’s place N.A
PSM Oct-14 SG to Penang, Malaysia AirAsia Self-funded (but received per diem also) CEMACS hostel Provided by Organiser
PSM Dec-13 SG to Kuala Lumpur and then Selangor, Malaysia and then back to KL and finally back to SG AirAsia Self-funded Mix of Camp hostel and Guesthouse Camp hostel was provided by Organiser
GPS Jun-13 SG to Istanbul, Turkey Turkish Airlines Fully Sponsored ITU Hostel Fully Sponsored
Titik Nol Dec-12 SG to Bandung by flight, and then van travels to Semarang + Yogyakarta + Malang + Bali, Indonesia, and then back to SG by flight. AirAsia Paid for as part of work deal Mix of Guesthouse, Hotel and Couchsurfing Guesthouse was provided
Titik Nol Sep-12 SG to Yogyakarta, Indonesia AirAsia Paid for as part of work deal Guesthouse Guesthouse was provided
EALC Jul-12 SG to Bogor, Jakarta Jetstar Fully Sponsored CIFOR hostel Fully Sponsored
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