Travel writer Nina Karnikowski had seen more than 60 countries travelling through Mongolia in ex-Russian military vehicles and exploring the Namibian desert in open-sided safari trucks.
Karnikowski also had enduring memories of a plastic covered island in Borneo and a distressed polar bear swimming away from her tourist boat in the Arctic.
Concerned about the impact global travel is having on an increasingly stressed planet, Karnikowski's book Go Lightly is designed to answer her big question and perhaps yours; how do you continue to explore the planet without causing further damage?
"... while the travel industry is responsible for an estimated 8 per cent of the world's carbon emissions, as well as degraded wilderness areas, over-touristed towns, the erosion of local cultures and more, it's also a lifeline. Tourism accounts for one in ten jobs, teaches tolerance and broadens world views," Karnikowski says.
The book is a tool kit of fresh ideas about how to move, stay and eat lightly and covers off eco-friendly adventures that include biking, boating and camping and is ideal reading at a time when COVID-19 has clipped the world's wings.
Conscious travel figures feature throughout the book and include Celine Cousteau, conservationist, filmmaker and granddaughter of the French explorer Jacques Cousteau, who deserves the last word: "We used to think several generations ahead. We need to return to that," she says.
Go Lightly (Laurence King Publishing RRP $29.99) is available at thamesandhudson.com.au