British family take on 10,000 mile journey to Australia without any planes

A family who haven’t flown to reach a holiday destination since 2002 are making their way all the way from the UK to Australia without getting a single flight. They’re reached an island near Indonesia in their incredible journey to attend a family member’s wedding in Sydney.

Shannon Coggins, Theo Simon and their daughter Rosa, 19, set off from East Pennard, Somerset, on August 16. They’ll have to traverse the globe by boat, ferry, car, coach and train to make the 10,000 mile trip to Australia.

The family chose to stop flying with commercial airlines because of the "effect on the climate" 20 years ago. They hope to make it to Sydney by December 28 when Shannon’s sister is tying the knot.

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So far on their epic journey, the family have made their way through Kazakhstan, China, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia as well as countries closer to the UK. They are currently in Dili, the capital of East Timor – an island nation in Southeast Asia.

Shannon, Theo and Rosa will have enjoyed the sights of Great Plains, gorgeous blue tropical seas and white sand beaches while making their way to Australia – mostly on public transport. The family are now planning to find a boat that will take them across the Timor Sea to Darwin, Australia. Then, they want to find a bus – or series of buses – that will drive them the 42-hour journey over to Sydney in New South Wales.

"My sister moved to Australia in 2007 and she's getting married in New South Wales on 28 December," Shannon said.

"Although we live far apart, we're very close because our mum died when we were young but I've never been to her home, or taken her son to school, or even met the man she's marrying. I want us all to be there on her wedding day but I am also trying to do my bit to reduce my carbon footprint by trying not to fly."

The family have been saving for years to take the massive trip which has cost them more than a flight would. It has also taken them months to do compared to the 23 hour journey by air.

When they were ready to begin the tip back in August, Shannon quit left her job at the Avanti Park School in Frome while Theo finished working at Songbird Naturals in Ditcheat. They are also in a band – Seize The Day – and have had to turn down many bookings this year.

Theo noted: "Our band can't play any gigs without us, but we hope to be back in June 2024 for the summer season.All three of us have campaigned in different ways for action on climate change, so we decided our journey to Australia would have to be as low-carbon as practical.

"But we're realistic. We know that people can't necessarily find the time to do this, and unfortunately the world isn't currently set up to make low-carbon travel easier than flying. But it has been a fabulous adventure so far, and we've still got our fingers crossed that the harbour master in Dili can help us find a boat."

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