It's Time to Consider Slow Travel
It has now been a couple of months since most of us were forced into isolation and we’ve all probably reached the point where we are all looking for something to do.
Although it may be a while before we are allowed to travel without restrictions again, it doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for your next trip!
On a beach watching the sun set peacefully past the horizon line, breathtaking hikes through the wilderness or simply experiencing the vibrant nightlife that a foreign city has to offer all seem like pretty good starting points for our next holidays. However, all too often, we try to jam way too many experiences into one or at best, two crazy full on weeks of nothing but highlights. I know from past holidays, I return home feeling as though another holiday is needed just to recover and no doubt, you may feel the same way too.
This is where we would like to introduce a travel concept which is known as slow travel.
Slow travel in short is about appreciating the smaller details in the environment around you over an extended period of time and developing a true connection. Whether that be by properly taking the time to fully immerse yourself in the culture of a small Italian village, travelling by train through the gorgeous tea plantations in Sri Lanka or exploring the breathtaking hills that Northern Thailand has to offer.
So why consider slow travel?
Life in the present day, now more than ever, is extremely fast paced and full of problems that need to be solved one after the other. We rarely ever give ourselves the chance to stop, take a break and switch off. Slow travel provides us with the right setting to relax and let go of our chaotic lives every once in a while.
It also gives us the time to settle in to our temporary new homes and will more than likely leave a lasting impression on us as we become more intimate with the local communities, restaurants and environment. It provides us with a platform to become independent and to walk a path which isn’t well trodden. While modern day social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook almost push us to live our life in an ongoing cycle of highlight reels, taking a step back and allowing the landscape to envelope you rather than finding the perfect place to snap photos from could really help to form a deeper connection with the people and places around you.
Slow travel is another way to fit absolutely everything that is on your bucket list without having to stress to meet deadlines and face up to airport check ins at crazy hours of the day. I’ve personally heard first hand from people who have visited Australia on a working holiday and throughout that time, whether it be six months or year, gradually acclimatising to their surroundings like a local would while seeing everything Australian. Who would want to visit a place as big and as grand as Australia yet only manage to see the likes of Melbourne and Sydney while there.
Another side benefit to slow travel is that it can be done in a more sustainable manner than conventional forms of travel. Most people are well aware of how energy sapping flying is when compared to trains and buses; so why not make the most of your trip by slowing down and seeing the countryside. Europe among other places on the globe, is known to be very accessible via rail and in a lot of cases can be almost as quick as planes when hopping between countries.
I know for a lot of you who have work and family commitments, time may not be something that you are rich in. Despite this, slow travel can also give locations closer to home a new meaning too. Putting time aside to finally head out of the city to camp out in the countryside or even cycling through the city to arrive home from work rather than driving are both forms of slow travel. It gives you the chance to make the most of life’s surroundings in the midst of frantically handling our day-to-day lives. It can also aid to create local jobs by supporting the local economy as we spend more of our money and time closer to home.
So find what you love most about travelling and take the time to soak it all in.