I’ve always been a person to enjoy the journey as much as the destination - never allowing the anticipation of my arrival to outweigh the pleasure of the journey. Hence it has always been more about slowly moving through places for me; about living, about allowing my senses to tune with the environment, open to indulge in experiences, to become part of local life and connect to a place. Slow. Intentional. And definitely thought provoking. In fact, most of my now memorable travel experiences were enjoyed at times I wasn’t moving through a place at a particularly fast pace.
I believe there has been a subtle shift in how we think about travel. In our fast-paced world, a world that glorifies bucket lists and instant gratification, it almost seems like we have lost our sense of time - driven by the idea that life is short. Too short. Millions of people are being shot through the sky at slightly less than the speed of sound each and every single day - and all in the name of travel, and ticking another destination off their list. It’s like we believe that we can add meaning to our lives by making things go faster. By traveling faster. By fitting everything in. No wonder we bemoan how tiresome all of this has become. But in fact, life isn’t short by any means. It’s long. We just tend to forget to pause and live in the moment, so those moments just flash by. Perhaps it is time that we go back to the roots and rediscover the purpose of traveling. Perhaps it is time we start embracing the merits of slow travel.
Slow travel is about making conscious choices, as much as slow travel in itself is a choice - and a state of mind. Slow travel is about having the courage not to go the same way the crowd does. By choosing to travel slowly, we reshape our relationship with both place and community which we pass through on our journey, encouraging us to engage on a much deeper, a much more intimate level. Taunting us to look more deeply into that we thought we already knew. We slow down and settle into the daily rhythm of life elsewhere. Traveling slowly is about deceleration, not about speeding things up. About the journey becoming a moment to relax. It almost seems to re-engineer time.
There is a real desire inside me for meaningful journeys that offer more than fleeting, Instagram-friendly photo opportunities. My focus isn’t on carrying out as much as possible in the shortest time. I’ve realised the more rewarding way for me is to spend more time in one place and less time running around trying to see or do everything. Realised it’s not just about stopping over, but about slowing down. And I want you to remember that you have a choice. A choice of taking it slow. It might change far more than just the way you travel.