Slow Travel is the participation in ordinary daily activities to learn how people live: their food, culture, language, the quirky details that make a place unique and the similarities that weave a common thread through humanity.
In this context, ‘slow’ doesn’t necessarily depict speed of movement. Slow Travel is about connecting with your surroundings – people, food, nature, or (historic) culture – and opening your heart and mind to experience the unexpected. The slow travel philosophy encourages you to get to know an area well, in a way that is less stressful for you, more respectful of the locals and easier on the environment (and perhaps on your budget as well).
Imagine staying in a Mexican hacienda, wandering the local Mercado for fresh fruit and vegetables, joining in on local fiestas and cooling off in a swimming hole nearby. Slow Travel is the participation in ordinary daily activities to learn how people live: their food, culture, language, the quirky details that make a place unique, and the similarities that weave a common thread through humanity.
Slow Travel is about the journey, not the arrival.
Advantages of Slow Travel
Meaningful memories: You’re likely to create more fulfilling and enriching experiences than if you were following the standard ‘tourist trail’.
Personal growth: By getting out of your comfort zone you’ll become a more confident person and you may learn new skills, such as another language.
Increased awareness: By meeting people around the world and learning about new cultures you’ll be better able to challenge stereotypes.
Social consciousness: You will be contributing more to the local economy.
Saving money: Slow travel experiences are often cheap or free.
Here are some things you can try, even on the shortest trip:
- Visit local markets.
- Learn the language – even a few phrases can go a long way.
- Couch surf or stay with a local.
- House sit or home exchange.
- Seek out a local restaurant with no English menu.
- Cycle around different neighbourhoods or through the countryside.
- Take local transport.
- Take a course – painting, cooking, salsa dancing, whatever you are interested in.
- Attend a local event, such as a gallery opening or a popular local sport match.
- Attend a festival that no one's heard of.