What is Slow Travel?
Slow travel is the art of traveling to a new place and staying for an extended period of time. The goal of this type of travel is to learn new languages, make new friends, embrace the culture of the new place you’re visiting.
Typically slow travel is accompanied by a one-way plane ticket there so that one can let the journey unfold naturally. Spending more time noticing things and appreciating the people and surrounding, rather than trying to accomplish so many things in a short time.
Slow Travel vs Quick Trips
When comparing slow travel to quick trips, the best identifier is the purpose of the trip. For quick trips, it is typically a vacation or a getaway from normal life. Sometimes people just need a break and a change of scenery. so they grab their cameras, itinerary, and sunglasses and head for the beach.
These trips are typically short in duration, anywhere from 2-7 days on average.
The purpose of slow travel is more in alignment with a paradigm shift, a new step in life, learning something new, getting out of comfort zone. With it you spend time preparing: place to stay, income, culture do’s and don’t, best ways to get around, and so on.
Examples would be to take a 6 month excursion to Puerto Rico to experience the culture, or to travel long distance to Okinawa, Japan and teach English to really embrace the Japanese way of life, learn the language, and pick up on traditions.
Rise of Slow Travel (Benefits)
Slow Travel has been becoming increasingly more appealing to travelers of all kinds. The reason being, is that you get to experience so much more and you do not feel so in a rush.
Instead of getting off the plane, rushing to your hotel room, and putting on your coolest outfit, you get to take your time. You can have a day where you don’t have to have such an enormous to-do list planned. You left your hectic life back home and you don’t want chaos in your new environment.
What it feels like:
With this more intentional type of traveling, you can notice all the true gems of a place that aren’t on the touristy “things to do”. You can take a nice stroll to the park in some relaxed clothes. Check out some mom and pop stores. Really engage with the locals and hear their stories.
What to accomplish:
Get outside your comfort zone. One of the most beautiful things I have experienced as a slow traveler and an introvert, is trying new things.
You can challenge yourself to learn the language of the place I’m in. Try walking the streets and learning how to navigate different cities and countries. Step out out and talked with people who have lived in these places much longer than I and made connections. With slow travel I’ve given myself the time and opportunity to do those things.
The rise of slow travel is a beautiful thing and is constantly life changing.
For a visual, check out Nathaniel Drew’s video on Slow Travel