Well, I just blew my carbon footprint for the year. After all my living small (and blogging about it), I took an international flight to Budapest and back.
Flying, as many of you may remember, raises one’s carbon footprint more than any other single act. So why would I do it? So many of the people that I love are in Romania. There’s my dearest friend from the time that I lived there, and her family, who welcomed us into their home as always and took us everywhere with them for a week. There are other friends and neighbors and coworkers, and it was wonderful to see them again. And there are the children I used to help raise, who now have real families who have adopted them or taken them into foster care – getting to finally meet those families was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my entire life.
I had a moment of thinking, “what was the point of a whole year of trying to reduce our carbon footprints and live sustainably, if we’re just going to make it moot with one big vacation?” I’m not sure I have a perfect answer to that, except to say that we just spent a year changing our lives for the better, and we intend to spend the next year doing the same. I hadn’t been back to Romania in eight years – I forgot how much I missed it, not only the country but especially the people that I love.
It’s a balancing act, this sustainable-living, carbon-footprint-reducing life we’ve set out to live. I don’t have it all figured out. But this I can say for sure: the Romania trip was worth it. It felt like going home.