Slow Travel – what is it and why should you try it?
Slow travel is a term that’s getting thrown around a lot these days. Now we’re not going to preach to you about it, but it certainly does have its benefits, for the places we visit and also for the traveller.
In a way, the movement is bringing back the glamour and joy to travel that has been lost since society became so focused on doing everything. And quickly. Slow travel provides a way for travellers to move away from a bucket-list mindset of been-there-done-that to a more meaningful way of seeing the world. Travel is a privilege and to recognise that makes it a lot more special.
But what exactly is slow travel?
The art of slow travel is to savour every moment of a trip, whether the journey, a particular destination or even a meal. It can be enjoyed by spending longer in one place, rather than hopping from city to city, or even by changing the mode of transport – swapping planes for trains or cars for horseback. Some say it’s a mindset; a way to be more connected to a place.
In short, it’s the art of taking your time and appreciating what’s in front of you, rather than rushing from one point to the next.
Why is slow travel better for the places we visit?
There are many benefits to slow travel from an environmental and economic perspective. By travelling on land rather than by air, we reduce our carbon footprint, which in turn helps to preserve the Earth. But we know you know about that.
One other benefit for local communities is that tourists have the opportunity to visit emerging destinations that may not be on the main tourist map. Flying causes us to skip a huge chunk of a country out – it may save us time but it also means that certain regions have less income from tourist dollars and they are sometimes the ones that could benefit most. It means that small local guesthouses or restaurants may gain more business and it also spreads the weight of tourism across the country, rather than it all being focused around one highlight and stretching those resources.
By spreading out tourism, it also changes migration patterns within a country. With more opportunities to make a living in rural communities or smaller towns, fewer people may flock to big cities and local cultures and traditions stand more chance of being preserved too.
And why is slow travel better for me?
Travelling slowly enables us to make a stronger connection with the places we visit, allowing us to see a place beyond the surface and the main tourist attractions. It allows us to explore more off-the-beaten-path destinations for a more authentic travel experience and brings us closer to local communities, giving insight into different lifestyles or cultures.
In some cases, it allows us to see a darker underbelly of a destination that we may otherwise miss. The world isn’t perfect and that’s part of its beauty – by educating ourselves we can become better people and also make a positive impact.
How can I fit slow travel into my busy lifestyle?
We get it. You’re busy. The world is a big place and it’s cheaper, quicker and easier than ever to get around, so why wouldn’t you? But contrary to belief, to travel slowly you don’t necessarily need a month or a year.
It’s all about adding value to a trip. By swapping planes for bikes and increasing your connection to the landscapes around you, even travelling for a weekend can feel a lot longer.
Incorporating Slow Travel into a Sabbatical
All of our trips are designed to balance the benefits of slow travel with seeing as much of a destination as possible. Travel can be tiring over a long period so sabbaticals are the perfect time to spend a couple of extra days in each place, breaking up each journey. We love including lesser-known spots as well as popular highlights and we try to incorporate this into each and every itinerary. If you’re looking to embrace the slow travel mindset then we have plenty of suggestions for making this work.
All you have to do is ask.