The art of slow travel
Slowness enables us to live in the moment and to experience the here and now. -- Gier Berthelsen
What is slow travel?
Slow is associated with taking time or doing something at low speed, unhurried, relaxed, gentle and undemanding - comfortable. Slow travel means, taking time on the journey. The journey is part of the experience. To slow travel, is to choose experiences over sights. It's about fully immersive experience, the feeling of being in it or part of it.
How do we slow travel?
Try staying in one place long enough to be familiar around, and be able to shop in the local markets, and pick a favorite restaurant. By staying in one place, rather than going fast paced jumping from one place to another, you can save transportation costs and less contribution to global warming. Since slow traveling is focused on prolonged and in-depth experience you will most likely meet some locals, and you will be learning the local language or at least be familiar with some of the often used words in the area. Learning a local word or a phrase won't make you fluent in a foreign language, but knowing a few words, a phrase or maybe sentences will definitely make a difference. It will not only make you more approachable with the locals but also an addition to your treasure chest of vocabulary.
Slow travel isn't just skipping tourist attractions. It's about how we decide to enjoy these popular destinations and other activities that we do while on vacation. It's about taking the time to embrace everything around us, to enjoy even the simplest things that aren't necessarily the most popular, like sipping a local coffee outside your nipa hut, while overlooking the farm or the mountains and appreciating the nature surrounding you.
Here come three things to remember if you are thinking of slow traveling on your next journey:
Read about the place you're planning to visit. What is it known for? What are the things you want to experience? What to wear? How is the weather? What are the do's and don'ts in the local culture?
Second, GO WITH THE FLOW.
You may have written down a few things on your to do list or must-see list but try to go with the flow. See the attractions you want to the most but allow yourself to get lost in the side streets on the way there. You might encounter something completely unknown and unexpected that in the end might become the most interesting part of your trip.
For example, you might be looking for this particular coffee shop, but you weren't able to locate it. Instead of ruining the mood and wasting so much time finding it; why don't you stop and just pick a coffee shop along were you are at the moment. Relax and maybe exchange a few stories with the barista about what you want to see next after that relaxing stay at their shop.
Third, STAY AND APPRECIATE.
As much as possible, stay longer if you can in a place or two rather than moving fast paced from one place to another. The longer you stay in one place, the better your understanding of the local culture will be, therefore your appreciation of the place will deepen.