Have you ever returned home from a trip feeling utterly exhausted? You now need a vacation from your vacation so you can feel relaxed enough to head back to the fast-paced, hectic life you were trying to take a break from.
What was supposed to be a time to get away for some much needed R&R turned into a frenetic vacation where you spent all your time rushing from one must-see thing to the next, packing your days full from beginning to end because you had a serious case of FOMO.
Fear. Of. Missing. Out.
We’ve probably all been there. We go to Europe for the first time and realize that it’s so easy to get to Amsterdam from Paris, so we squeeze it in. We have 10 days to experience Italy, and that guidebook we picked up told us that it’s really easy to fit in 5 cities in an easy-to-follow itinerary so we set out intent on having a true la dolce vita experience, but all we really end up doing is checking all the boxes as we rush from one place to the next.
What if we purposefully tried to travel differently? If we made the emphasis less on sightseeing and more on experiencing our surroundings at a relaxed and comfortable pace.
What is Slow Travel?
More than anything, slow travel is a mindset. Traveling this way means you are intent on soaking up the local culture, and you are able to form a much stronger connection to the place you’re visiting, as well as the people.
The goal is to make you feel at home, far away.
Americans live life at a much quicker pace than most of the world. When we are less focused on knocking out every sight there is to see in our guidebook, we are able to escape the normal stressful day-to-day life we’ve become accustomed to, and fit more naturally into the pace of another culture.
This type of travel is focused on connections. You stay in one place long enough that perhaps you find yourself a favorite coffeehouse or bar that you like to sit at. You may even go to the local farmers market and pick up some fresh fruits and a baguette for your own impromptu picnic.
It’s the anti-guilt type of travel experience that gives you permission and freedom to do less (or nothing, if that suits you), and perhaps step out of your comfort zone a little bit.
Europe is a great destination for slow travel because in many places you have the opportunity to consider a vacation rental for a weeks stay or longer, the public transportation systems are really simple, and when necessary, you can still visit historic attractions and things of interest when the mood hits you.
The point is that there really isn’t a hard set agenda. You are free to let most of your days unfold without worrying about what you are “supposed” to be doing. You simply do what feels good.
You take your time at lunch. You volunteer at a local animal shelter in Africa. You nap. You sit for hours at a cafe and sip a cappuccino near the bustling piazza and people watch in Italy. You head out for an impromptu day trip. You get lost wandering down side streets. You do yoga in the middle of the rice fields in Bali. You read a book all afternoon. You explore neighboring villages when the mood suits you.
So, when should you consider this type of travel?
I’m not saying that every trip has to be this way. But perhaps you make it a point to try it out and embrace the environment and local culture on your next trip. Make it about authentic connections and quality over quantity.
I’m here to help you do just that, should you so desire. If you are interested in checking out my road map to discovering your perfect vacation destination, CLICK HERE to grab your free copy!