Balanced Mind,  Travel

Slow Travel

Slow travel is comfortable. It is an exploration in direct contrast to our previous way of travel. The previous way to travel to a location was as a tourist who would plan to hit all the hottest and most popular tourist attractions while on vacation. Probably not interacting much with the local population and sticking mainly to the top tourist-style restaurants and activities, forming no connection to the culture. By the time you arrived home, you were probably just as tired as when you left. Slow travelers, on the other hand, are freed from the tedious pressures of standard tourism.

They are free to talk to locals and find out the points of interest from their perspective. They become part of local life and do their best to connect to a place and its people. Slow travel is also about connection to culture. Slow travelers stay in one place for at least a week. They usually choose holiday rentals like houses, cottages, apartments, and villas that are a ‘home away from home and shop and cook just as they would at home. By living as opposed to ‘staying’ at your destination, you can experience the place more intensely. One of the pleasures of slow travel is the slow and thorough exploration of the local area. You immerse yourself in the community and start by exploring everything within a couple of hundred meters of where you are staying.

Take a walk around the neighborhood so you can pay close attention to what is around you, then branch out to explore by bike. Next, take a train or explore by car. If there is time, you can become involved in local activities. Some fun things to do would be to take a language or cooking course, volunteer for a local organization or group, study the local religion, volunteer at a local school to teach English or another language you know, or try working on organic farms.

Use your skills to help others. In the process, you will see another culture and its people. You will be working and living at the local level and so will develop relationships with local traders and people, and who knows, you just mind learning something new about yourself in the process. You may even change your life’s course. You may change your own perspective. Who knows what adventure lies ahead when you open your mind to new possibilities and take it SLOW!

For more articles on travel, you can visit the Travel Section of our blog.