The philosophy of slow travel has roots in slow cooking. This concept originated in Rome where the Italian journalist Carlo Petrini staged a movement against the arrival of a major fast food outlet in the historic center. Petrini hoped to inspire travelers to relish their meals and celebrate traditional customs over a quick fix. We see also slow travel beautifully represented in Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, where the journalist commits to longer stays in Italy, India, and Indonesia.
How you choose to interpret the slow travel trend for yourself is flexible: there are no set terms as to how long or how little you should spend in a given place.
Slow travel might translate into staying closer to home on your next vacation and getting more acquainted with your own backyard. It may mean adopting sustainable practices such as committing to journeys by rail or taking a river cruise. You may opt for a backcountry hiking expedition or a cycling vacation. Slow travel may mean packing your laptop and splitting your time between work and exploration or seeking volunteering initiatives that give back to local communities.
Slow Travel Grants Richer Cultural Immersion
Easing the pace of travel opens you up to a deeper experience with the local culture of your destination. Staying put in one place means that you can pursue such opportunities as studying the language and enrolling in cooking or handicraft classes.
In some countries and regions, you may even be able to partake in voluntary initiatives such as walking dogs at an animal sanctuary, participating in beach cleanups, or pursuing temporary agricultural or viticultural placements in the world's top wine destinations. Such platforms as WWOOF and Workaway are excellent starting points for brainstorming ideas.
Beyond such activities, you will find that you have more time to connect with the community and forge friendships.
A Greener Way to Travel
Traveling slowly is kinder to the planet. Planning an overland itinerary rather than taking multiple short-haul flights will reduce your carbon footprint. While it’s nigh impossible to avoid flying altogether, seeking alternatives where possible will only lessen the impact on our natural environments.
Traveling Slowly is More Relaxing
Being free from the need to follow a strict travel itinerary provides the perk of having more opportunities to switch off and relax. This might mean spending more time at your chosen home away from home, getting more acquainted with hidden neighborhood gems, and planning fewer early starts. If you have a demanding job or commitments in your own daily life, this approach will help you relax and care for your mental health. Of course, there will still be plenty of opportunities to take day trips and see the wider area.
Slow Travel Takes You Outside the Box
Traveling slower allows for off the beaten track tourist activities in addition to the typical “Top 10” sights. The phenomenon is also linked to the “Second City” travel trend of visiting beyond the capital city and most popular destinations.
Mindful Travel Benefits All Types of Traveler
Slow travel isn’t only an option for those taking sabbaticals, remote workers, or retirees. This travel trend also extends to families, professionals, honeymooners, and more. If you are interested in pursuing a slow travel vacation, contact me today. We will explore destinations and slow travel itineraries that reflect your passions and interests.
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