If you keep an eye on travel blogs and magazines, you most likely stumbled upon a term that may have left you with your eyebrows raised: “slow travel”. Before you rush to a conclusion, know that it doesn’t refer to the actual speed of your travel – you can ‘slow travel’ if you fly, if you take a bullet train or if you drive at insane speeds at the highway to your destination. “Slow travel” refers to something else – it means taking your time to get to know the place you visit instead of striking out as many sights and landmarks from your list as possible.
What exactly is slow travel?
Have you ever arrived home from your vacation and felt more stressed and exhausted than before you left? Have you ever cut your vacation short knowingly, planning to spend a few days lingering in your bedroom, sleeping, playing at a casino online, reserving time for some “dolce far niente” before diving back into the routine of everyday life? This is called “tourist burnout” and it is exactly what it sounds like: the exhaustion caused by trying to cram too much into a limited vacation.
Slow travel, in turn, means taking in your destination at a relaxed pace. Imagine staying in a bungalow in the Italian countryside for a week, sleeping in, making your own breakfast using ingredients you bought at a local farmer’s market, sharing lunch with the locals in a small eatery at the corner, discovering the surroundings one hill at a time, eating dinner on the porch in the light of the setting sun, and absorbing the air at night watching the stars. No rush, no schedule, no to-do list, nothing.
This is what slow travel means: taking your time to explore your destination, to dive into its culture, its specifics, its traditions instead of rushing through a list of sights and buying a collection of souvenirs. It means getting to know one small area instead of seeing just a little bit of many others in a limited time. It’s a much more relaxing way to spend your vacation.
Why travel slow?
First of all, it will offer you an alternative to the rushing life you experience day after day. While travelling slow, you’ll have a chance to step out of the treadmill for a while, pick up the pace of a different culture, dive into its traditions, its cuisine, its habits in a more meaningful way. And it can even save you a buck or two in the long run – you can opt for a vacation rental instead of a hotel room, cook your own meals instead of constantly eating at restaurants (that are often tourist traps), and even save on transport.
Are you ready to slow down?