What is Slow Travel
Coen and I have always traveled in a way that felt good to us, which happens to be traveling slowly. We enjoy lingering, getting a feel for a place, meeting people and becoming part of their lives.
When I learned about the Slow Movement, of which Slow Travel is one aspect, I came to appreciate the term and concluded it fits our style of travel.
Here is what Slow Travel is all about:
Slow Travel is about Connecting & Sharing
Connect with your surroundings: people, food, climate, nature, animals, (historic) culture. Meet local people, learn about their lives if they wish to share it with you. Follow up on tips from locals, whether this is about sights, food, dress or any other matter. Exchange and share. Care about your environment and behave accordingly.
Slow Travel is a State of Mind
Allow the world to show itself on its own terms. Feel comfortable without a plan or itinerary. Notice the other, your surroundings, that particular taste or smell of a local dish. Be where you are right now (rather than in the future or the past). Travel with intent and intensity. Be mindful. Let go of fear and open your heart – to others, the unexpected.
Slow Travel is about How you Travel (not how long)
Slow Travel is a way to visit Paris for the day or weekend, to hike in the Rocky Mountains for a week, to go on a sabbatical for a year, to make it your lifestyle, or anything in between.
Slow Travel is about being somewhere, rather than passing through – no matter how long.
Slow Travel is about Having a Unique Experience
Sit in a local cafe, enjoy a drink typical of the region and chat with workers who come there for an after-work drink.
What happens to you when you sit in that cafe? What goes on in your mind? What are your feelings, observations, interactions? And how do they help you define your experience?
Slow travel is not just about sitting in that local cafe. It’s what happens as a result of that action which makes slow travel so valuable.