(CNN) — Will and Claire Stedden tied the knot in 2017, however their “honeymoon part” was longer than most.

“We referred to as it a honeymoon with curiosity,” Will advised CNN.

Due to different commitments, the Steddens did not honeymoon till three years after their wedding ceremony.

Whereas dreaming up the journey, they thought of flying to New Zealand to go backpacking. However as soon as it was time to guide, the Steddens had grounded themselves. They needed to restrict their choices to locations they may get to with out flying.

The ball and chain tethering them to the bottom wasn’t the Covid-19 pandemic, it was their dedication to being flight-free to be able to fight the local weather disaster.

“I began studying in regards to the concept of selecting to not fly deliberately from Peter Kalmus, who’s a local weather scientist, who was very vocal about not flying,” Will stated.

For Claire, who used to stay within the Midwest, shifting to California introduced the realities of the disaster to her entrance door.

“Truly seeing the fires round and the ashes rain down on my automotive. The city subsequent to us ran out of water,” she stated. “That was a extremely large a part of it — dwelling it and realizing what the longer term can be in case you do not begin doing one thing.”

Their pledge to cease flying didn’t diminish their dedication to seek out journey, and so they determined to spend their honeymoon biking up the Northwest Pacific coast. The couple traversed Northern California to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, then Mount Rainier and Olympic Nationwide Park in Washington.

“That was probably the most life-changing journey I’ve ever completed. And it might by no means have occurred if we had not determined to cease flying,” Claire stated.

Claire biking through Wilcox, Arizona.

Claire biking via Wilcox, Arizona.


Studying to not fly

Some persons are starting to curtail their journey habits due to the local weather disaster, however the Steddens don’t need to “flight disgrace” anybody. As an alternative, they’d prefer to encourage.
They started posting their adventures on Instagram as Photo voltaic Punk Journey. They journey largely by e-bikes connected with photo voltaic panels and have to date visited the Northwest, Southwest and Midwest United States. They’ve additionally taken some trains, which helped of their latest transfer from California to Wisconsin.

“When our lease began it was simply me unloading my bicycle,” Claire laughed.

The couple credited clipping their flying wings with a way more rewarding method to journey. As an alternative of being “pissed off within the airport,” they now take pleasure in seeing the landscapes change as they cross via.

Additionally it is offering them with extra flexibility on the highway. If there’s a spot they’d like to remain longer, there is no flight rearrangements or charges to fret about. For the Steddens, it has been their ticket to vacationing like an area in all places they go.

“It makes you actually respect the place you’re,” Claire added.

What began out as a plan to go flight-free for one yr has now stretched to 3 for Will and two for Claire.

“A part of our motive to proceed doing it, is simply to indicate how enjoyable it may be and it isn’t a hardship. You possibly can have an ideal life,” Claire stated. It is a related thought to one in all her favourite quotes, “Being sustainable just isn’t about hardship and loss; it is about magnificence and creativity.”

However the well-grounded couple is not giving up flying endlessly. They plan to comply with a report that claims one flight each 8 years is sustainable. So, the Steddens are contemplating a 2027 flight to Europe. As soon as there, although, they might be sightseeing by bike and prepare, in fact — a pleasant method to have fun eight years of flightless journey on what shall be their tenth anniversary.

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