When was the last time you took things slow? We have come a long way from a time where ‘slow’ was considered a bad thing: slow transport systems, slow service, slow activities. Yet now, it is a heavily desired commodity. The pace of everyday life isn’t slowing down and it’s affecting the way we travel. Below, we detail what it means to take things slow with travel because the return on pleasure and satisfaction is far greater under less haste!
What is Slow Travel?
The concept of slow travel is to
encourage individuals to return to the roots of why we travel. Being warped in an
era where ‘slow’ sets off an unsettling impatience, fast is now a predetermined
ideology seeded into modern urban society, reflected in our approaches to
travel. Rather than swapping landmark-hopping tours for beachside decadent loungers,
slow travel is a mind-set more than a swap out of speed. It is about engaging,
embracing and connecting with the destination, the people, the food, local
traditions, customs and the language.
How will this impact my travel experiences?
Some of us may think that slow travel
leads to lessened opportunities to explore and experience. However, the idea of
slow travel is not to limit the benefits of growth and development of travel,
but to help individuals experience more
by taking things slowly. It is the opportunity to be fully engrossed with the
beauty, art and soul of each destination and to be opened to spontaneous experiences.
Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures so why limit ourselves to a
contrived and scripted journey?
In simpler form, slow travel is about
accepting and integrating with the destination in order to prevail the full
scope of benefits of travel. There is more to travel besides learning,
relaxation and refreshing the body and mind. By letting go of the superficial
definitions and approaches to travel, we expose our hearts and minds to a new,
fun, wild and positive way of life that will not only serve the 7-day journey
but life at home too.
Will slow travel affect the environment and local
Most definitely! Although flight travel
is becoming an increasingly common mode of transport, it is not only
responsible for 2.5% of global carbon emissions. The time an individual spends behind the glass
window can be invested more efficiently and effectively into building and
creating memories, on foot or on a bike, in a unique, undiscovered destination.
When done right, this form of responsible travel not only benefits the
environment, but the local communities, biodiversity and economy too.
Where should I start given my busy lifestyle?
Begin by establishing a clear goal for
your next trip. Ask yourself questions: “do I want to break-free from
timetables and technology to spend time in nature?”, or “do I want to do something creative and learn a new skill
to incorporate back home?” Answering these questions will not only give you
clarity in deciding what experience to choose, preferred activities and
destination. It will also set the overarching theme throughout the overall experience,
the core goal of slow travel.
Another tip would be starting local. As
mentioned earlier, slow travel is not just about reducing our speed and
spending days cross-legged on a Yoga mat. It is about redefining the way we
travel by being fully immersed in an authentic experience, making sustainable
choices for our personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the environment. Some
examples include, choosing an experience in the UK, which is accessible by train and choosing to shop
fresh produce sourced from local farmers. Start with small, incremental changes
and it will ultimately feed into a natural shift in pattern, settled into a
mind-set of admiration and appreciation for the big and small pleasures and
joys, overlooked when we’re busy rushing around!
An official Slow Food supporter
We are pleased to announce, Balance Holidays is a proud supporter of
the Slow Food movement. As a curator, designer and booking
platform for exclusive, high-quality wellbeing retreats in Europe, each of
Balance Holidays’ programmes hold an emphasis on eco-sustainability, as well as
a commitment to the local communities and surrounding wildlife. Menus are
specially designed to capture local traditions of each destination through
chosen recipes and concepts, combined with locally sourced or where possible,
home grown organic ingredients, absent of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.