Travel has become a common aspect of life for so many individuals in today's world, especially now that technology has made it much more accessible. Take a glance online, and you'll discover Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are brimming with travel-focused content that highlights the world's most beautiful destinations and accommodations readily accessible at every price point. While it may be simple for social media to show off the beauty of the world to daydreamers and armchair travelers anywhere in the world, travel is about so much more than just capturing those perfect, internet-worthy aesthetic photos. Travel should be purposeful. It should fascinate and inspire you, rejuvenate and center you, enlighten and educate you, and most significantly, connect you to your soul.
When feeling worn out, we frequently think about taking a break and going on a family vacation or a solo trip. Imagine yourself taking a small trip that takes you to six adjacent places, and you will return home filled with joy but exhausted. That's because instead of feeling refreshed on your vacation, all of the travelling inconveniences make you feel even more exhausted, and this is because you travel in a time crunch rather than slowly and taking your time. Not to mention the massive carbon footprints you left behind.
However, a more sustainable and meaningful approach to this is slow travel, which has been picking up steam among travelers across the world. Slow travel is not just a way to travel; it’s a mindset. The concept of this travel places a strong emphasis on connections with local and ethical fashion, people, cultures, food, and music. It is based on the notion that a journey should be meaningful and emotionally impactful now and in the future while being environmentally and locally sustainable. When traveling, the quality of your experience is more important than the quantity of your experiences. Like instead of making sure you hit the "Insta-worthy sights," focus on activities that locals do every day, things that inspire them and give them joy. These relationships and connections will have a far greater influence on you than the memories you have of rushing from one tourist attraction to another tourist hotspots.
Why slow travel?
Just like other slow living concepts, slow travel entails taking your time and being fully present in the moment to absorb the vibe of a place you’ve travelled to. It resembles the fulfilment we experience when we use tailor-made clothes (also referred to as slow-made clothing) specifically created to meet our needs and preferences rather than purchasing what is in style and dressing the same as everyone else. Similar to this, enjoying a slow vacation would provide you greater happiness and fulfilment than cramming in all the top destinations at once.
Slow travel and eco-tourism harken back to the original purposes for why people started traveling, which were to immerse oneself in new cultural experiences and to forget oneself in a new place. This way of travelling not only offers many benefits for the traveler but also for the environment, and the community. And here are a few reasons why even you should adopt the slow travelling concept as well:
Filled with Quality Experiences
Slow travel prioritizes quality over quantity in its experiences. Where travel is considered "slow", the mindset urges tourists to take a step back from their to-do lists and Pinterest-worthy photo opportunities in favour of more in-depth, profound, and unique experiences that the local community and cultures have to offer. It's similar to the emotion one gets when they visit their hometown and get to spend some meaningful quality time with their family and loved ones.
It saves you money on fast-paced transportation, expensive foods, and hotels. Using public transport services, such as a train or a bus, can allow you to romanticize the long journey and the breathtaking landscapes. While you can also get to taste the tempting authentic cuisines, local specialties, and even homestay opportunities that may open up doors to meaningful interactions and life-altering experiences for you.
It helps in building connections, and you can make amazing contacts and perhaps meet some even more amazing individuals who have the power to completely transform your life. Connecting with others can be as simple as striking up a conversation with a local man, which might present an opportunity for growth and lifetime learning, or bumping into a few cool people when out on a solo hiking trek.
It's Ecologically Sound
Slow travel not only saves money on transportation but also supports ecotourism. It is not only wonderful for your health and bank account, but it is also safer for the environment. We may limit the harm that carbon emissions bring to the environment and our ecosystem by choosing to travel slowly with transportation that has low carbon emissions.
Filled with Positivity
Since you've chosen to travel to get away from your hectic daily routine, slow travel will enable you to do just that. It is packed with positive emotions and an attitude that will help you feel at ease and calm. Since you're not rushing against the clock, you could even rest and unwind for an extended period of time, which will make your trip much more memorable and enjoyable.
In the End, it's Worthwhile
Last but not least, you would develop adequate confidence in yourself while traveling slowly, since it takes a certain amount of faith in the outcome or your ability to solve problems as you go. Even if there may be a communication or cultural barrier, these are the times when you may learn something that you will likely remember for the rest of your life. And when you reach the top of a beautiful view, all of your efforts will start to feel worthwhile, and everything that follows will turn this vacation into one of your finest ones ever.
If you also have a busy, on-the-go lifestyle, getting away from the city to travel slow for once in a while seems like the perfect solution. You can wake up with no specific intentions for the day and no idea of the experiences that lie ahead, but with the assurance that whatever you'll encounter will mean so much more than what you could possibly express.