“We have lost our sense of time. We believe that we can add meaning to life by making things go faster. We have an idea that life is short — and that we must go faster to fit everything in. But life is long. The problem is that we don’t know how to spend our time wisely.”
(Carlo Petrini, Founder of the Slow Food Movement)
At least once we have all experienced coming back from a vacation, feeling like we need another vacation. We have visited several cities in few days, got jet lag and continued our familiar fast-speed routine. But what if there is another way to travel? A way which puts less emphasis on manic sightseeing and more on being sensible to our surroundings at a relaxed pace..?
We have good news – there is another way and it will shift the way you think about travel!
A movement called slow travel is more and more being adopted by many exhausted travelers – the ones who wish to slow down while being on holidays. Slow travel is a specific mindset, providing travelers an opportunity to make conscious choices and to be comfortable wherever you are. Imagine waking up only when you are fully rested, deciding what will you do that day while taking coffee in a locally owned café next to your hotel during holidays. There is no way you could be exhausted from a vacation like this!
Slow Travel Spain : Hotels in Spain
That is why slow travelers mostly choose to live in one place for at least a week. Living, opposed to staying at a place, provides an opportunity to connect with local people and explore new cultures in a less stressful and more respectful way. So let’s get back to your holidays – after taking that morning coffee, you are ready to explore. Maybe you will start with visiting a local market and engage in conversations with people you meet along the way. Or have you decided to take a day off and stay in that café while observing what locals are doing? There are no rules, as the pleasure of the journey is about how you will decide to enjoy destinations and every activity.
Slow travelers take time to explore each destination thoroughly and to experience local culture, making it a prolonged and in-depth experience. This type of travel is about deceleration rather than speed, and taking time to remove the rush. The philosophy behind this idea is that it is more important to get to know a small area well than it is to see only a little bit of many different places. Doing less is more.
Slow Travel Italy : Hotels in Italy, Tuscany
But don’t get confused, slow travel is not about a mode of transportation and it is not time bound. It doesn’t necessarily involve travelling long-distances or at certain speed. The real pleasure of this type of travel is that it is rule-free, as a slow traveler adapts the journey to his needs and wishes. Everyone can be a slow traveler, no matter the motivation behind it.
By choosing to travel slowly, we reshape our relationship with the place we are visiting and with the communities through which we pass on our journeys. And more importantly, this way of travel helps us to develop a deeper connection with ourselves, making us to take time and reflect on what we want.
Slow travel means to choose experiences over sights – and more than anything else – quality over quantity.
Ready to slow travel? Check our list of slow travel boutique hotels.