Slow Travel: Embracing the Experience
Slow travel is a movement created by adventurers that want to truly experience the world and all that each destination has to offer.
Traveling is one of the most common things on peoples bucket lists. With so many amazing places to see and things to do we can actually take away from the experience. When traveling changes from fully experiencing a new culture and everything that it has to offer to simply checking off each of the amazing sights it loses some of its meaning.
With social media creating the picture-perfect vision of what something has to offer, we may feel that we are missing out by not seeing everything. However, the idea of slow travel is becoming more common. Slow travel means taking the time to experience each location; stepping away from your own life and into someone else’s. It makes travel less of a to do list and more of an experience you’ll remember forever.
While seeing an amazing building and taking the perfect picture may gain you a following on social platforms, the experience of doing this will likely be less fulfilling then spending a week going to local shops, trying local foods, an exploring the areas not seen by most tourists.
Focus on Experiences
To start practicing slow travel you need to focus on the experience that you’re having in every location. Rushing and stressing to see everything on your itinerary in the two days you have allotted before you move to the next city will change your experience. It is not going to be the same as someone who spends a leisurely week walking around and simply seeing for themselves what the city has to offer.
Would you rather look back and remember a hectic trip rushing between landmarks or remembering a special time with your family eating at a local bakery, trying some local coffee, and getting lost? Would you rather remember interacting with the locals, learning about their lives, and maybe learning some of their language? These are the memories that slow travel provides, not stress filled, check box marking, cookie cutter trips.
Try New Things
By allowing a location to shape your experience you can try new things that you wouldn’t have otherwise. All of these travel spots have so much more to offer than the typical Instagram worthy posts we see online. By slowing down and truly exploring our surroundings you may find some unique experiences that you can’t do anywhere else in the world.
Don’t Make a List
This one is hard for a lot of people but try choosing a destination and not making a list of all of the things you need to do while you’re there. Some of the most amazing memories happen when you don’t have a plan and just allow yourself to experience something unpredictable. Imagine taking a trip with your friends or family without any preconceived ideas or expectations.
Oftentimes, our expectations become our own worst enemies. Think of the holidays, other travel experiences, and anything where your expectations guided whether or not you enjoyed your experience. By taking a step back from creating a plan you allow yourself to create a journey while you’re there. `
Remember this is a Vacation
Most people have experienced going on a vacation and returning home more exhausted than they were when they left. This means that you’re likely trying to do too much in too short of a time. By slowing down, realizing that there’s always another chance to visit, and embracing everything as you experience it, you will return home feeling rejuvenated and happy.
Is Slow Travel for You?
Although slow travel has a lot of benefits, it’s not for everyone. The official motto of slow travel is “there’s always another trip”. However, this isn’t true for every person.
This can be especially true if you have a goal of reaching all fifty U.S. states in a shorter amount of time.
If you believe that this is your only visit to a certain destination, you need to evaluate whether the slow travel experience of immersing yourself in the culture is more valuable to you then the sightseeing experience of traditional travel.
If you’re new to the concept of slow travel, you may want to try this out first at a location closer to home. See what slow travel brings to you and your family. You can enjoy travel without spending the high airfare costs of going to another country. This way on your bigger trips you know what travel experience you want.
Slow travel is the best way to fully experience everything that the world has to offer. It helps us to look beyond ourselves, to break us out of the monotony of regular life, and to step out of our comfort zones.
Slow traveling with kids?
Need some help entertaining them on the long car rides? Read our article on the best video apps and games for kids on road trips and planes.
Conclusions on Slow Travel
In our culture we rush to do everything. Slowing down is not viewed as productive, and productivity is how we determine our value. This doesn’t have to be the case for our travel experiences as well. Slowing down, fully experiencing and embracing a new culture, and allowing yourself to go with the flow. These are all great alternatives to your traditional travel experiences. Moreover, they are a perfect introduction to the benefits of slow travel.