We’re in a rush most of the time. Running between home and workplace, we don’t even know what we pass on the way. Then we take holidays and do the same: hurrying to catch the plane, walking around the cities from point A to point B to see all the major attractions as soon as possible, eating quickly, because the group is waiting. Instead of relaxing, we end up tired and stressed.
While traveling fast can be exciting, because it allows you to visit lots of fascinating places and meet many people, it’s not always the best option. It’s good if you only have a few days off and want to make the best out of them. It’s good if you find it thrilling to move constantly. It’s also good if you want to visit some specific locations, but have a limited amount of time to do so. Otherwise, there are many disadvantages to this traveling. When you do it for a longer period, it becomes exhausting. Everything mixes up in your head, so in the end, you don’t know where you’ve been. Travelling slowly, on the other hand, is a fantastic opportunity to rest from all the hustle and bustle we’re used to be surrounded with. It’s about more than just moving slowly from one destination to another, taking trains instead of planes and staying in a city for three weeks, not three days. It’s a state of mind, a particular attitude. Even if you only go away for one week, you can choose whether you want to move through this week slowly or fast. Are you wondering if you could enjoy it? Here’s a list of the advantages of traveling slowly, based on experiences of many travelers. Take a look and them, and perhaps you’ll realize that’s what you’re interested in.
You get to connect with people on a deeper level
When you travel fast, you meet a lot of people. The thing is: you do come across them, but it doesn’t mean you get to know them. Understanding how people live in a given place takes some time and effort. It’s not enough to chat with one local on a bus. It also takes a while to connect with individuals. Some people are extremely open and ready to tell their stories in a first meeting, but it’s not always the case. If you’re not in a hurry, you can always spend more time with someone you find intriguing. You don’t have to leave them immediately, just because your stay in the next place is already carefully scheduled. Long conversations with random people, sharing experiences, advice, and points of view – that’s one of the most beautiful things traveling gives you.
You can explore the places
Just like people, places ask for your attention. You can get a glimpse of a town in one day, but you can’t say how it works. There’s more to cities than major tourist attractions. Exploring them is a process. Quick trips can be fun, but they don’t provide you with enough of time to learn about a place. If you slow down though, you can study the history, wander around, visit spots where locals use to hang out. After a while, you start comprehending how a city functions. The same applies to the countryside and nature. A short walk in a national park is undoubtedly a beautiful thing to do, but hiking for several days is even better. This way you can not only take a few pictures of those lovely waterfalls but also sit nearby, listen, watch, enjoy the sensations.
If you get to a town and have only one day to see it, you usually end up in the touristy areas, and the touristy areas are expensive. Travelling slowly is cheaper because you can look for affordable eateries, cook your food and find many things to do for free. Hotels, vacation rentals, and other lodgings tend to offer discounts to the guests who stay longer, so accommodation also turns out to be less expensive.
You can take time to get involved in something or learn new skills
There are many things you can do in a place if you decide to stay there for a while, from taking cooking classes or dance lessons, to joining local communities or participating in various workshops. Instead of visiting ten Spanish cities, you can stay in one for several weeks and take Spanish lessons. Then, during the weekends, you can still take a look at neighboring towns or villages. It’s not necessarily better than moving around the whole Spain and visiting different locations, but it does have some obvious advantages. In addition to traveling, you gain a practical skill as well. You may also consider volunteering, attending courses or working abroad, the options are countless.
It’s not as tiring and stressful as traveling fast
Nowadays we’re used to doing everything quickly, and we don’t notice how it influences us (because we don’t stop to observe ourselves). After months of hard work, we get exhausted, our minds and bodies just can’t handle it anymore, but usually, we just keep on going, because there are bills to be paid, problems to deal with and so on. Taking a break from it at least once in a while gives you a chance to rest, retreat and gather energy. Even if you don’t want to change your life entirely and apply the slow motion to your daily lives, an occasional break from the rush is wonderfully refreshing. If you decide to take your time while traveling, you don’t have to worry about missing a bus, because you can take the next one. You don’t have to plan everything precisely, and even if you have some schedule, it’s always possible to change it. There’s a certain kind of freedom that comes with slow travel. You can stay somewhere if you like it there, you can keep on talking with people if the conversation’s interesting, you can sleep as much as you please and taste the dishes bite after the bite, concentrating on the new flavors.
It’s a valuable experience that influences your mindset
It doesn’t mean your whole life has to turn upside down, but traveling slowly will inevitably affect your way of thinking. The journey will give you plenty of time to reflect upon your actions, analyze your behaviors and look for answers to the questions that have been bothering you. You don’t know what kind of a job you’d like to do? Have you some problems with family or friends? The relationships aren’t working so well? Most of us struggle with some unresolved issues, and we have no time to take care of them. Getting away from it all and gaining a new perspective can bring some surprising solutions. Besides, traveling at a slow pace makes you calmer. It doesn’t mean it’s not adventurous. It’s just more peaceful and relaxing, so you automatically become more calm and relaxed as well. The journey can change you in unpredictable ways, so much that you’ll notice your attitude back home will be different than it used to be.
What is your opinion about the advantages of traveling slowly? Do you like it more than quick trips? Let us know what you think! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Let’s spread the idea!