Slow Travel: The Art of Traveling at a Calmer Pace
It seems like a paradox, but it’s quite common to hear those who return from their vacations say that now they need time to rest from those very same vacations. Did you also say it? Of course, we have; we’ve all said it! We have used our days off from work to tour cities without stopping, going from one place to another, getting up early, having breakfast in a hurry, and making a quick stop to eat anything to continue on our way. And all this without forgetting to take photos of each and every one of the monuments on duty that we come across.
In addition to the lack of rest and jet-lagged, other things are added: not getting to know in depth the culture and local traditions of the place you have chosen to vacation, not having exchanged a word with those who live there, not to forget the list of things to see. That’s’ where the Slow Movement comes into play, almost like a lifestyle, and Slow Travel available to travelers who want to connect with themselves and with the places they visit.
If you are interested in this new movement that will make you travel without haste and enjoying every moment, below are some fantastic tips for you!
Any place is perfect to Slow Travel
It may seem that slow travel can be done in only small and picturesque villages, but any place is perfect in reality! When I thought of places to recommend where to slow travel, my mind moved to different destinations on the planet where I had enjoyed tranquility, gastronomy, and incredible experiences.
The list I had prepared went something like this:
- Tuscany in Italy: For the small towns steeped in history, the gentle hills to explore on a Vespa motorcycle or by bike, rustic restaurants, and the people’s warmth.
- Cafayate in Argentina: For the wineries and vineyards, in addition to the spectacular mountain landscapes, unique and colorful rock formations, some of them very famous, but others great to discover quietly. The town is a delight, as is the northern gastronomy.
- In Laos, Luang Prabang: With hundreds of temples to disconnect and villages around the Mekong River to explore.
- Rishikesh in India: Well-known for being the Ashram where the Beatles were, but also the place that many look for to meditate, do yoga and take it easy.
But then I thought of European capitals, and there’s a whole lot of places you can Slow travel. I have done it myself in cities as chaotic as Paris or London.
- The pâtisseries of Paris with their delicious cakes and scrumptious pastries, accompanied by a coffee, are ideal for sitting down to read a book or just people-watch.
- The streets of London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, just a couple of blocks away from Portobello Market, are beautiful to stroll and breathe in the open London air.
There’s no denying it; you can slow travel anywhere in the world.
Let yourself be surprised by the places you visit.
Oh! The famous bucket list or list of things to do before dying. Do you have one? I do! But if you have found out and made a list of things to see for your next trip, you have to leave it at home if the plan is to do Slow Travel. That feeling of having to see everything and, worse, not going without having the best photo (which will be the same as the one everyone has already taken of the place) is far removed from this mode of travel.
Say “no” to organized trips!
Traveling on tour, in a group, with a company that takes care of the organization and a guide that explains what you are seeing, will give you peace of mind and comfort. Still, its tight itineraries will not allow you to experience slow travel fully. Ensure you have enough free time to escape the tourist circuit, disconnect, and see other places on your own.
More days in a better place
You can do Slow Travel on a weekend getaway, but if you want to make better time and experiences, the more days, the better. You will have more opportunities to come across someone who makes a recommendation about a place that is rarely visited but worth going to, attending events, getting to know other neighborhoods and new flavors.
Walk instead of taking public transport
Instead of looking for which bus or metro line takes you from one place to another, check how long it would take you to get to that same place on foot. Perhaps those 30 minutes of difference between one method and another make precisely the difference but in experiences. You don’t have to walk to get from one place to another but try to pay attention to the houses, the local businesses, the people passing by, greet the neighbors, or simply give a smile.
Go out without a camera
We are often missing to see an event or a place live and live to be aware of the shot that we will do with our camera. I will not deny it; it’s good to take a photo of a particular moment as a souvenir and remember to enjoy it with your other senses.
Bring a notebook and take notes of your trip
Take a notebook on your trip to write down the recommendations they make to you, what you are going through, the conversations you listen to. Store the memories of your journey in it, from the entrances to the sites you visit, maps, brochures, and drawings that you make. With practice, you will see that your perception of the details will be more intense. Give free rein to your creativity on the trip and see how you enjoy doing Slow Travel. Write and experience the place on a whole different level!
Let yourself go and enjoy the moment. Be amazed by what the places and their people have to offer.
Don’t make any more excuses and take the trip of your dreams now! What did you think of this way of traveling? Have you ever done it?