Sebastian is the founder of the Travel Blog and Podcast Off The Path. He and his girlfriend and travel mate Line talked to us about mobility in Germany, comparisons to other countries and the scenario of a world without cars.
Line, Sebastian, on your travels through the whole world you certainly have had a lot of adventurous experiences. Probably also when it comes to transport and mobility. What has been your weirdest experience when it comes to transport?
(Sebastian) My weirdest experience has been a ride in a so-called Chicken Bus in Nicaragua. We were sitting on the roof because the bus was totally crowded inside. In Nicaragua, this is quite normal. Another exciting experience was a trip in a minibus from Jozini to Durban in South Africa. Every part of the vehicle was used and we had to sit on half of our buttock for four hours. We couldn’t feel it anymore, when we got off. In Germany, this bus would be regulated to only carry a maximum of six people – there were 16 of us.
How do you prefer to travel?
(Line) We love to hit the road with a car and take a road trip. There is simply nothing better than the freedom of the street and being able to decide in the morning where to spend the day without knowing where we’ll be tomorrow. This means pure freedom for us.
The future of (e-)mobility has become the motto of many countries written. Do you notice any general progress since you started your travels in 2011?
(Sebastian) We hardly notice any progress, at least not in general traffic. Only in some regions of the world, for example San Francisco. Here the buses of the public transport are all electrically powered, actually already since 1948. California, in general, is one of the regions with the most electric cars worldwide.
How would you describe the progress of mobility in Germany in the global picture? Which country or continent could be a role model for Germany?
(Line) Most certainly, Germany is not in a bad position in a global comparison. However, in our opinion, this comparison does not really count since only very few countries make real efforts when it comes to the progress of mobility. Norway, on the other hand, is really progressive and a real role model: Here, over 10% of the cars on the road are electrically powered. That’s pretty cool.
Would you give up your car to switch to other services? What should these services look like for you?
(Sebastian) Sure! It would be important to us that these services are easy to book and reliable on the one hand and do not restrict our mobility on the other. A well-developed infrastructure and a high degree of flexibility are crucial here.
Nevertheless, at the moment, we cannot imagine to travel without a car. The freedom offered by the car is unpayable. But who knows, perhaps there will be completely new ways of getting around in the future, including travel?