(2 MINUTE READ)
Summer is here, and suddenly everyone seems stressed. Rushing to the airport, the beach or the connecting flight to your next destination that is just so lovely you’d like to stay a bit longer but there is this other landmark you need to see, too…. So often at the end of a holiday your head and camera are loaded with images but the soul feels tired and empty.
The Art of Slow Travel
While the world seems to turn faster and faster we feel the urge to slow down and pull the plug. Pause. Breathe. Reset. After the slow food movement praising a new culture of food consumption, slow travel encourages one to enjoy travelling, instead of just collecting memories.
It’s not about why and where you travel but how; a personal approach to travel slow and conscious.
See the Journey as Part of the Travel
Try to see getting from A to B as part of your travel, not just a necessary evil to get to your vacation. The means of transportation defines how we perceive a travel, and what effects it has on our environment. Thee pace of a travel has an impact on how we remember a vacation. Board a train, find your seat, and relax. Read. Look out the window. During a train ride you see the passing landscape changing continuously. Time to feel and understand the distance you are traveling. And with the train moving through the country, you’ll find yourself on a journey through yourself, to places that you don’t usually see because you are too busy.
We tend to always strive for more – more action, adventure, adrenaline and impressions. Those who believe in less is more are searching for a reduction on a few things and a new quality. Finding inspiration and a new clarity and focus in body and mind.
Skip seeing a lot and seek out new and unique experiences. Experience and enjoy your destination with all senses! Connect with your environment, the people, and the culture. Seek the authentic and embrace regional life, with an open mind and open soul. Take time for the places you visit. And take time for yourself, for contemplation and reflection, to value your experiences and give them time to form.
Embrace the unexpected
Stay away from the must-see-lists and guides that put you under pressure and make you feel bad when you can’t check them off your list. Relax. Try different approaches, like discovering a city through a novel you are reading, see the changes over time. Make detours and get lost, follow your instinct and enjoy the lack of purpose. Embrace catastrophes! A delay or missed train can bring more time at your hands, for a coffee in the sun. The best place might be just around the corner. Your best experiences just beyond your plans.
Be kind to nature
Often slow travel means soft tourism, a sustainable and resource saving way of traveling. Being close to nature and in sync with the environment can be an essential part of slow traveling. Boarding a train, bus or bike is better for the environment than planes, yet there are far-away places harder to reach. Still, with a new perspective a slow travel experience is everywhere. Re-discover the well-known, ride your bike or hike through the hinterland you usually only pass, board the train to unknown, unpopular destinations.
Slow travel isn’t a way to provide the ultimate relaxation from your reality, so that you can regenerate and dive back into the craziness once you are back home. It’s part of a way to form and spend your leisure time and of a conscious way of living in general. The spirit of slow travel must live on and will continue to improve your quality of life.