Slow travel brings back the original essence of travelling: intentionally enjoying and embracing the experiences and places we visit. See below how you can adopt this philosophy and go back to being fully present on all your future trips.
Travel is one of life’s most nourishing activities. The variety and diversity all around the world offer many unique places to visit and live new and exciting experiences. The goal of travelling is to enjoy and immerse yourself on a new journey. But, many travellers have drifted away from this purpose thanks to the fast-paced society we live in. Nowadays, we forget to enjoy the moment because we’re too caught up in capturing the best photos and videos or feeling overwhelmed that we’ll return home soon. If you relate to this but want to change it, here’s where slow travel comes in.
What is Slow Travel?
You are probably wondering, what exactly is slow travel? The definition is quite simple. It means connecting in-depth with the culture, local people, food, music, traditions, and scene of the place you’re visiting. Travelling slowly is taking your time to experience all that for a more extended period without the rush of a short vacation and other tensions.
This mindset encourages travellers to interact personally with the people who live at the destination, support the local economy and become part of the place instead of just a visitor. Since a slow travel experience is usually done independently or in small groups away from very touristic zones, the experience is entirely different and in our opinion, way better than going on a travel tour.
The History Behind Slow Travel
This trend, or should we say movement, is a branch of the Slow Food Movement, which originated back in the 1980s in Italy to protest against fast food; it intended to preserve regional traditions, local farming and artisans, traditional cooking, a slow life pace. The movement’s expansion led the travel industry to develop its own way of slow enjoyment. How interesting, right?
Benefits of Slow Travel
Leaning towards slow travel is a great idea if you intend to have a meaningful experience instead of a hasty touristy one. By travelling this way, without the hassle of getting the perfect Instagram photo . Or with limited time to visit all the spots on your bucket list, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the moment and everything around you. Here are a few other reasons why you should consider a slow travel experience:
You’ll Save Money
Slow travel may be a more affordable option than the typical hotel experience. Nowadays, it’s straightforward to find reasonable prices on long-term stays at platforms such as Airbnb. Or, if you want to live like a true local, there are also homestay options available that you can find online; if you go for the last option, be sure to stay with someone trustworthy and with good references. Renting an Airbnb or staying with someone can also help you save money on food since you won’t have to eat out all the time.
No More Tourist Burnout
Visiting and doing as many things as possible with a limited amount of time can be exhausting and turn into a bad memory instead of a good one. Getting back from a trip more tired than when you left is what travellers call “tourist burnout”.
By switching from the traditional hectic tour mindset where you are only focused on checking off places from your bucket list to a slow and mindful one. You’ll be able to enjoy, grow, learn, and expand your way of thinking. There’s no need to be under pressure during a trip. You can always return another time to see the spots you missed.
Stepping out of the hotel and high-speed travel dynamic will allow you to get to know the local world from a first-person perspective and therefore connect with local citizens and learn about the culture, history and traditions. It could even turn into new opportunities to experience regional day-to-day life more in-depth.
How to Enjoy Slow Travel the Most?
Now that you are familiar with the slow travel movement and its benefits, let’s see how you can make the most out of it.
Make a budget
If you plan in advance and save the money you need for the trip, you’ll have the freedom to do and try everything you want without stressing out about not having enough funds during or after the expedition.
Live like a local
Interacting with the people you meet at your destination, getting to know them and discovering more about the site from a different perspective will open doors to unparalleled experiences. The more you adapt, the deeper the slow travel experience will be. By living like a local, you’ll have the chance to get to know hidden gems that often go unnoticed by tourists.
Go with the flow
Being flexible can turn unexpected events and stressful situations into opportunities. Setbacks such as missing the bus, taking the wrong route, etc., can be easily handled and overcome when you’re going with the flow.
Be open and ready to grow
In addition to visiting new places, travelling can be an opportunity to discover unique aspects of yourself, gain confidence in problem-solving skills, and learn valuable lessons. The experiences one acquires by travelling like this will give you knowledge, wisdom, and a whole new outlook.
Take home the slow travel mindset
Travelling slow doesn’t have to be a philosophy you use exclusively when out of town. Being more mindful while travelling and on regular days can improve your life. You can integrate the slow travel practices into your daily life by enjoying the little things, stopping to smell the flowers, trying new things and interacting more with people around you.
What do you think?
Travelling slow sounds like a relaxing and enjoyable experience, doesn’t it? Slow travel might not be for everyone, but if you want to give it a try on your next trip, we are sure you’ll enjoy it. You can find more about this movement on our other slow travel and digital nomad blog posts or slow travel forums.