How many times have you come home from a vacation feeling like you need another vacation?
I used to find myself feeling like this way too often. My vacations used to be too intense, full-on with places to see or people to catch – up with. I wanted to fit so much into my days. The fear of missing out was huge.
The big turning point for me was my holiday in Croatia a few summers ago. I had an amazing holiday with my sister and friends. We spent a great couple of days in Split, went to a festival, went sailing around the islands. But when I came back to London, I got sick. I was down with cold, had a fever, my energy levels were low, I couldn’t’ get out of bed for a few days.
My body started showing me signs that I needed to change some things. No more 5 am flights, intense weekend trips, no more trips with the people where you have to constantly worry about everyone having a good time, that you don’t have time to yourself.
It was time to slow down.
It was then I came across a term called ‘slow travel’.
What is Slow Travel?
Slow Travel emerged off the Slow Food movement, which began in Italy in the 1980s. When McDonald’s planned to open an outlet near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome in 1986, Carlo Petrini organised a demonstration in which he and his followers brandished bowls of penne as a sign of protest. The demonstration was successful and 3 years later Carlo founded the International Slow Food Movement which advocates a return to traditional recipes, locally grown foods and wines and eating as a social event. Carlo Petrini has written several books on Slow Food since then. If you’re interested in finding out more on the topic, perhaps the most interesting is Slow Food (The Case for Taste). This cultural perspective has since spread into a whole way of life known as the Slow Movement, which emphasizes connection – connection to food, families and in case of travel, connection to local people and cultures.
Slow travel is not so much a particular mode of transportation as it is a mindset. Rather than attempting to squeeze as many sights or cities as possible into each trip, the slow traveller takes time to explore each destination thoroughly and to experience the local culture.
For some, it means renting a cottage in the middle of nowhere, exploring the surroundings by foot or by car. For others, it may mean crossing the long distances by train so you can absorb the sceneries on the way. But no matter how you do it, the key is slowing down – and making the most of each day while travelling.
Slow Travel gives you an opportunity to make real connections with local people, the place itself, learn and absorb the local culture, enjoy the local food – all of which generally leads to having richer, more authentic travel experiences.
Why I love slow travel
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you already know how much I love everything simple and authentic.
I feel the happiest when I’m surrounded by raw landscapes, great outdoors.
I’m also a minimalist, who believes that ‘less is more’ – and I apply this to my travels too.
I’m looking for more meaningful experiences. These experiences can be found anywhere – from your local neighbourhood to far-away countries. As I mentioned above, slow travel for me is a mindset – it’s about having a curious mindset and being open to exploring things at your own pace.
Slow Travel mantra helps me to tailor my trips, sometimes without even any tailoring at all. These days I leave the time for unexpected and unknown, yet-to-be-discovered adventure.
Are you a slow traveller? What does slow travelling mean to you?