Last month, I wrote a bit about Impact Travel and my own experience with the emerging trend. Another emerging trend in travel in Slow Travel. This type of adventure engages the traveler in an experience that revolves around not only immersing one’s self in the cultural aspects of a destination, but that idea is reinforced and made possible by the ACT of traveling slowly. Examples of slow travel include rail vacations, river cruising (all over the world) and the American favorite – the road trip! Traditional ocean/sea cruising can also take the form of slow travel, but the idea would be staying overnight or multiple nights in one port before moving on.
I think this concept was brought about by the fact that we desire to slow the revolution of the earth. Time is fleeting and the older we get, the faster it seems to go! We are so busy; we have so little vacation time; we realize our kids grow so fast and our parents are aging before our eyes. Our family trips to Disney are wonderful and anything BUT a vacation and hopping from spot to spot on a cruise ship is not only filled with constant entertainment, but endless stimulation options that busy the mind and exercise the spirit. People are realizing the beauty in slowing down, stopping to smell the roses, and the knowledge gained by personal interactions in culture and with people who are different than we are.
Every vacation can contain some aspects of slow travel – whether you are traveling abroad or to another part of your own country. For example, instead of aiming to visit four destinations in a week-long trip, choose two and dive in – eat where the locals eat. Shop where locals shop. Ask a local about the hidden treasures of their city – they want to brag about THEIR place on this big blue ball and they are the EXPERTS! Try a new mode of transportation! When my daughter and I were in Paris earlier this year, we not only did a bike tour but also “rented” Lime scooters (the kind you stand on like a big kid) and scooted around everywhere! Find a quiet place and reflect. This single act allows me to inhale a place. Become a people watcher and learn through observation. Basically, slow it down.
Don’t get me wrong – there is a time and a place for the hurried vacation – I am planning a group cruise to Hawaii in 2021 for my son’s graduation (wanna go?) and know that we may never go to Hawaii again – especially as a family – so we are seeing as much as possible!!! In the meantime, I plan on enjoying a few slow travel experiences in my near future – a river cruise in November and our weekly long camping trip coming up later in July – it doesn’t get much slower than camping!!! The world is big and time is flying by….take it slow!
Here are some ways we have experienced aspects of slow travel on our adventures.