By Neha Chandak
Featured Photograph by Marcus Woodbridge
Feel more tired after travel rather than energized? Weird, huh? Travel aims to refresh and invigorate our minds, but why does it do the opposite? The tough pace that people sometimes set in the hope of juggling everything can be exhausting and overwhelming.
Slow Travel is a way of thinking and a way of life. Rather than trying to pack as many attractions and cities as possible into each trip, slow travelers’ take the time to thoroughly explore each destination and experience the local culture. According to the philosophy of slow travel, getting to know a place is more important than breaking your back trying to unpack various places.
Photograph by Rota Alternativa
Sometimes referred to as “deep travel” or “immersive travel,” is the opposite of collecting passport stamps. The term may be relatively new, but over the decades more and more people have redefined how they travel. Slow traveling leads to richer, more connective, and authentic travel experiences.
There has also been a rise in sustainable lifestyles. As the media reported on the return of fish to the canals of Venice and the reduction in CO2 emissions from the plane and car stops, post Covid-19 people have the opportunity to now think about how to continue this trend on the other side of the pandemic.
It can mean renting a villa or apartment for a week at a time and exploring the immediate vicinity on foot, car, or bikes. This can mean cycling from one village to the next, or driving a back road instead of using the freeway. You can cross long distances by train instead of by plane so you can see the scenery along the way. But no matter how you do it, it’s important to slow down — and make the most of every moment of your vacation.
Photograph by Arnel Hasanovic
How to Slow Travel
Stay in more spacious or cozy vacation rentals, which often are cheaper than hotels. Book your vacation rental in advance. Home exchanges are another good option for longer stays. Often, your home exchange partner leaves referrals to friends and neighbors, so you immediately feel part of your new community. You may even be able to use your replacement partner’s car while you are in the area.
In the spirit of slow food, find local ingredients and experience the local cuisine of the place you visit. How to cook by yourself? Buy fresh ingredients from the local market first thing, or stop by cafes to buy bread directly from the oven. When eating out, visit local cafes and restaurants instead of known chains.
Travelling by train is a relaxing and often extravagant way to see the countryside. You can also save money by taking advantage of different rail passes. Locally, rent a car or a bike or even travel by foot to experience the culture at its finest.
Slow travel is an increasingly popular option for those who want to enrich their travel experience. Doing a lot of sightseeing every day can be exciting and energetic, but everyone needs a little relaxing as life can get frustrating and boring. You need to decide what’s most important to you: traditional tourism or an intimate cultural experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neha Chandak is a writer living in London. Neha is passionate about anything film and advertising.