Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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Slow Travel: Are You Into It?

Traveling... it leaves you speechless then turn you into a storyteller ~Ibn Battuta

Ever since my recent trips to Budapest and Oslo, I've been drawn to the slow travel movement. What is slow travel? It's the connection to culture. Wherever you are in the world (time permitting), you're taking the time to explore and live like a local instead of rushing from one "touristy area" to the next. Have you ever burned yourself out from vacationing that when you get home you feel like you need another?

The slow travel movement is a spinoff to the slow food movement. A movement that was started in Italy to preserve local cuisine because of fast food restaurants moving into the areas. Italians are serious about their cuisine. Have you ever traveled with someone that stay eating foods that they can easily find back home instead of enjoying the local cuisine? Don't you just wanna punch them in the throat then poke 'em in the eye?

Like why travel to another part of the world just to eat the same stuff you're already familiar with? Anyways, the movement like any movement wasn't without criticism. Many felt like it was a movement reserved for those who are more affluent. So you mean to tell me those who aren't just want to eat fast food all day??? I'm nowhere near affluent and I gladly prefer to experience local cuisine all day than fast foods.

Slow travel is not about skipping the tourist attractions and/or activities. I sure didn't and I was still able to have a memorable experience. I enjoyed them my way instead of rushing and exhausting myself to the next must see. Sometimes when we're rushing we don't really get to enjoy and be in the moment.

I've had people give me the WTF look when I share I also like to explore outside of the touristy areas. *Sigh* Isn't traveling about getting out of your comfort zone to explore and create experiences? Yeah, I thought so too. Slow travel can't be done everywhere nor is it for everyone. If it's not your thing then it's not your thing.

Ariel & Ron at We The Wildflowers share what slow travel means to them. 

We don't travel to sight see. We travel to soul see. Most people who travel to a new place have felt that never-wanting-to-leave-feeling. Or, that I-didn't-get-to-see-everything feeling. It's easy to compare places you visit to the place you call home as well. That frames how you relate to a place. When we decided to travel full time we wanted to see if we could create home wherever we were. It was time to get out of our comfort zone and learn who we were when home wasn't something to run back to. We never stay in a place for shorter than a week. And even that rarely feels like enough time.

Slow travel gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in new subcultures. Wander around without a specific landmark in mind. Meet new friends and build our community. See the local perspective as opposed to just the tourist facade. Slow travel means the world is our home, everyone is our neighbor, and that has proven invaluable.

Whew! Thank goodness. I just knew I wasn't alone in this. 😊


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