You may be familiar with the Slow Food movement, which aims to preserve regional cuisine, local farming, communal meals, and traditional food preparation methods. In a similar vein, Slow Travel is essentially a mindset that encourages authentic experiences and emphasises connections to local people, the environment, cultures, food and music.
A mindful approach to travel, Slow Travel encourages travellers to focus on quality over quantity, to disconnect from technology, and to slow things down rather than rushing through travelling, so you can appreciate your journey. It’s about being in the moment, and taking your time to absorb your surroundings.
While tourism has become much about travellers ticking the “been there, done it” boxes, so to speak, Slow Travel encourages the exploration of nature, exploring areas on foot or cycle, travelling to areas that aren’t heavily populated by tourists, and living like a local.
Slow Travel is essentially a sustainable way to travel and is concerned with minimising the impact on the natural environment and its habitats. There’s less emphasis on travelling to cities, and instead encourages exploring nature.
With Slow Travel you kind of get to live like a local, immersing yourself in the local foods, architecture, music as well as the great outdoors.
Slow travel was inspired by the 1986 slow food movement that developed in protest at the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. Slow food was designed to promote local, traditional, food and this extended to both the way food was served and how it was produced.
There are now numerous travel agents offering slow travel experiences, but honestly the best way to slow travel is to set your own agenda and DIY. Pick a place where you would like to travel to – perhaps at home or abroad – and do some research but don’t plan. Whether you’re travelling on your own, with your family or friends, find accommodation in an area that serves as your base, and take it from there once you get there.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com