What is slow travel?
Slow travel is inspiring, rewarding, exciting and enlightening.
The concept is about slowing down the pace and enriching your travel experience.
It is a way to travel better. Aiming for quality experiences over the number of attractions you can visit in one day. The essence is to mix with locals and explore areas nearer to where you live or visit, rather than dashing around from one location to the next.
It can also be thought of as a form of sustainable tourism that aims to preserve the environment, local communities, and traditional cultures.
Picture a weekend city break. Crammed with sightseeing, tours, queues at attractions, souvenir shopping and travelling to and from the airport. It is exhausting and stressful. But for some reason, we all do it. Including me!
Slow travel challenges that mindset
Travelling by train, bus or bicycle transforms the journey into the holiday. Air travel is stressful, and can sometimes be just as time-consuming. It is also the largest contributor to tourism’s global carbon emissions.
Spending more time in one place, allows you to really get to know the area. Too often we spend one night here, two nights there, and never really get to know a place. We are so focused on racing to see as many famous sights as possible. We forget all the other wonderful things a place we originally visited has to offer.
Staying in a local guesthouse, self-catered accommodation or a homestay supports the local economy. International hotels take the money you spend out of the local economy. Staying local and buying local supports local businesses and families. Communities benefit far more when the local economy is supported.
Getting off the beaten track will expose you to experiences you would never have if you only visit major tourist attractions. Stepping away from tourist resorts and attractions will introduce you to a new way of life, new foods, new environments.
How can we slow travel?
Honestly, we can’t always slow travel 100% of the time. Time constraints, budgets, work and family commitments and geographical distances simply make it unrealistic to travel this way all the time. However, we can endeavour to adopt just a few slow travel elements to each of our holidays and trips.
Explore local areas or venture into the wilderness. Learn a new language or a new skill. Learn about other cultures, or share your knowledge and skills with local people.
Ditch the sightseeing itinerary and go with the flow of whatever the day brings. Seek out lesser-known destinations, cities, attractions or restaurants. Whichever way you choose to slow travel, you, the people you meet and the places you visit will truly benefit.
Slow travel living is an evolving lifestyle. Yes, it is slow, but it’s gaining momentum!
Want to Read More About My Slow Travel Experience?