The art of slow travel is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things the world has to offer.
I have never quite understood people who tell me “oh I’m going to Europe for two weeks” or “I’m going to Australia for 10 days”. Wait hold up, you are telling me you are about to travel half way or almost all the way around the world just to be somewhere for 2 weeks?! That’s absolutely absurd. Why would you torture yourself by doing that? Are you doing it just so that you can cross it off of your list of things to do?
Traveling that far will take about a day or more to get to your destination and by then you are jet lagged and need to recover for a day or two. Then you have to do the same thing on the way home. Now your 14 or 10 day vacation has turned into a 12 or 8 day crazy mess. How much of Europe are you possibly going to see in under 2 weeks? Yes you might see some touristy sights but just as quickly as you see them you are already rushing to get to your next destination. You never get to fully understand the culture behind what you are seeing, nor will you get to enjoy the food you are eating, or the beautiful languages that are being spoken around you. You will probably meet lots of other tourists who are doing something similar to you but will you socialize with locals? Will you get to taste local cuisine from a small hole in the wall restaurant? Most likely not. I will never understand these kinds of people, all I can do is shake my head at them and feel sad for them because they are missing out on so much more.
The art of slow travel is just what it sounds like. Travel slow. Get to know the area that surrounds you and spend more time in less places. Scour the local markets, stop and smell those flowers, and find a hidden gem of a restaurant. Get into some sort of routine. Get to know the locals; your neighbours for the time being. You might be surprised at how welcoming they are.
I believe that if you learn 5 basic phrases in the language of the country you are in it will make all the difference. People will be more willing to help you and talk to you because you are making yourself more open to them. Don’t be an ignorant traveller who thinks they can get whatever they want because they can speak English and believes everyone else should too. Because believe me everyone dislikes those people.
This world holds so much beauty and if you are trying to zip around attempting to cross things off your “bucket list” you will miss even more amazing things. Be open to changing your plans and not having a set itinerary. I urge to you stay in one city for a few weeks or even a few months. See how much you will learn from the locals, their customs and traditions. You will gain so much more than if you were to pass through for only a day or two. Save your pretty pennies so you can enjoy more. Travel slow you beautiful people.