Slow Travel is on everyone’s lips these days. But what is the meaning of the term? And what is behind it anyway? I took a closer look at the trend.
Where does Slow Travel actually come from?
Slow Travel is a special form of the Slow Food Movement, which was launched in Italy in 1980 during the protest against the opening of a McDonald’s store in Rome. The Slow Food Movement aims to protect regional cuisine, traditional delicacies, local agriculture and original production processes. In general, the Slow Movement is mainly about re-establishing a connection – between people, cultures, places and products.
What does the term Slow Travel mean?
The “Slow” Movement has now also arrived in tourism. Inspired by the Slow Food initiative, Slow Travel is also about deceleration and mindfulness. The focus is on conscious experiences, respectful interaction with people and nature, and a relaxed way of travelling without stress.
Our society is becoming ever faster, more complex and more confusing. In all areas of life people are longing for a new simplicity, clarity and peace. This trend is of great importance not least in tourism, as it is precisely those few weeks of time off in the year when more and more people are willing to voluntarily do without a laptop, mobile phone & Co. on their holidays.
The trend is towards individuality, tailored experiences and sustainable concepts. Travel enthusiasts are increasingly trying to follow undiscovered paths, to experience a new kind of adventure, and to avoid large crowds of people including constant stimulus satiation. As travel has changed from a luxury hobby to a leisure activity for everyone within a few decades, this is naturally reflected in the world’s greatest venues. The world is a beautiful place and has a lot to offer – so who can you blame?
But this is precisely why many people want to discover something new off the beaten track. Travel will become more versatile, and there are already some exciting new concepts on the subjects of environmental protection, sustainability and agriculture. Why not spend a week on a farm in Andalusia and help with the harvest without any technology? Physical activity can be incredibly liberating and healing. Or how about a week on a shared farm, sharing both work and profit? People yearn to return to their origins more and more, and to leave the fast pace of everyday life behind, at least on holiday.
You can start by planning to explore your own country this year, for example. Most of the times, there are many beautiful places in the proximity that one has not seen or explored yet. How about immersing yourself a little more in the history of your own culture, drinking your coffee a little more consciously in the morning, strolling along the sunflower fields, drinking a good cocktail on the lakeside, and experiencing all the beautiful things you have experienced in your home country with all your senses? And maybe you will soon see your home country through completely new eyes J
Slow travel in your own country can mean…
… to explore new places and treasures within your own country’s borders instead of travelling hundreds of kilometres by plane.
… to explore your own culture more intensively and learn new things instead of dealing with a culture that is located on another continent
… to enjoy regional & seasonal delicacies instead of bringing exotic specialities across the Atlantic to your own table
… to be in the moment and enjoy the moment instead of thinking about the next to do’s and plans
…to make spontaneous road trips and have unforgettable experiences instead of preparing for a long distance journey with weeks of planning
I have just had such a wonderful “holiday for the senses” and can therefore say that “Slow Travel” is relaxing, enhances the unforgettable moments of happiness when travelling and leaves a very special feeling. Just give it a try!
What are your experiences with Slow Travel? And where is your next trip going? Share your experiences with us.