By Guy Fincham

As part of our school’s green commitment, we have launched a new ‘Train over Plane’ travel fund which supports travel to conferences by train instead of plane. PhD student, Guy Fincham, has been one of the first to try it out, and shares his thoughts on the experience for a recent trip to the Netherlands.

I travelled to Amsterdam/Haarlem in the Netherlands for ICPR 2022 (Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research), and primarily for a workshop the day before on breathwork as this is my research focus (Breathwork as Psychedelic Therapy).

I had a profound experience that I could never have imagined nor expected from breathwork (and so much more). I have undergone a personal paradigm shift and have gained an increasingly newfound respect for the therapeutic potential of breathwork as/for psychedelic therapy. The experience was invaluable and has made me view psychedelic breathwork under a new lens, which will benefit my future research and work.

Moreover, I connected with researchers and clinicians, some of whom were very interested in The Breathwork Survey I am working on with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London. It was a lot of fun and had some lovely down regulation time the day after it had all finished.

I wanted to use the Train over Plane fund as train is my favourite form of transport by far and is fortunately more eco-friendly than flying (saving up to 90% of the carbon emissions). I’ve never been on Eurostar before so was glad to find out they travel to Amsterdam. For the first journey I changed at Brussels, and the return leg was direct. Another great thing is that trains between Brighton and London St Pancras International are direct.

Although the journeys took around two working days (one there, one back), I particularly enjoyed the comfort of travelling by train (compared with flying), feeling much less restricted and freer. I also made friends with a lecturer at Kings College London on their way to a conference in Utrecht. I’d encourage everyone at the Sussex School of Psychology to use the Train over Plane fund if travelling within the UK and/or mainland Europe.

Looking forward to ICPR 2024 now. Hopefully there will be some research being presented on breathwork this time! 😉

I’d like to thank the Open Foundation and Open Up for organising the ICPR conference and (breath)workshop, respectively, the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff Association, Tokyo) as my funder and making this all possible, Charlotte Rae and Harry Lewis for setting up the Train over Plane fund, along with Mitzi Tahsin and Fran Barnard for assistance when booking through the Key Travel platform.

Thank you for reading. Set and setting.

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