There’s a lot wrong with the way we travel. Emissions from airplanes, hotel chains who don’t contribute to the local economy, cruise ships polluting the environment and travelers who trivialise a country’s culture… You get where I am going. The way we are traveling has a huge impact on the planet. Slow Travel can be the answer! This is how you can travel responsibly and still make the most of your trip!
For me, a responsible, conscious lifestyle doesn’t stop with becoming vegan, consuming less and better or opting for fair-trade products. Now I am not perfect, but I am striving to minimise the impact my choices have on our environment, the animals and other people. And since traveling is a big part of my life, I try to optimise my behaviour in this matter as well!
Slow Travel is about the journey, not about the arrival.
I have never been a fan of city-hopping, but much rather like to dive into a new culture, get to know its traditions, history and learn its language with time. And of course, find all the vegan foods I can! Slow Travel came to me naturally, since my trips where mostly longterm, either for research, work or study purpose. I like to immerse in a new culture, without the stress of planning and researching or crossing off to-do´s from a list. If you are new to this way of traveling, let me explain you what Slow Travel actually means!
What is Slow Travel?
Slow Travel is about feeling comfortable without a plan or itinerary.
Slow Travel encourages you to focus on quality over quantity.
Slow Travel means immersing in a new culture and seeking opportunities to experience something true and authentic.
Slow Travel means to live like a local, adopting new rhythms of life and building genuine connections with locals.
Slow Travel aims at making you feel at home, far away.
Slow Travel comes with strong values of sustainability and a desire for a smaller ecological footprint.
Slow Travel calls for places and destinations off the beaten paths.
Slow Travel is NOT about HOW LONG You Travel, it is HOW you travel.
Is Slow Travel for you?
I am well aware that Slow Travel is not for everyone! But is it for you? Let´s find out!
Some people love the rush, want to see as much as possible in little time, want to go to the most famous restaurants and bars and get those instagram worthy shots of the biggest tourist attractions. Some people love to have everything organized and already set to be and find that less stressful. If this sounds like you, then Slow Travel is probably not your thing.
You care about tourism providing jobs for locals, boosting developing countries’ economies and encouraging cross-cultural understanding? Are you willing to forget about the planned traveling and ready to make your own way of travel, in your own pace? Then Slow Travel might be what you are looking for!
How to travel slow and sustainably!
Drop the travel guide
Sometimes you have to forget about what you read or heard from others. Head in the opposite direction to where they sent you. Go off-the-path and enjoy getting lost. You never know what unexpected places you might discover or which interesting person you might meet.
Remove the rush
Hold on and take a deep breath. You learn so much of a new destination, simply by paying attention!
Learn a little of the language
Take the time to learn a couple words of the local language before you arrive. It will open many doors, literally. Enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing where the conversation is going and don´t be afraid of making mistakes.
Choose alternative accommodation
Find eco-friendly and local accomodation. Opt for Couchsurfing, Airbnb, Housesitting or Workaways. Not only are these options cheaper than hotels, or even free, it also gives us the opportunity to really get to know your surroundings.
Flying is not the only way to go
Flying is obviously not the most environmentally friendly way to travel. Go gor trains, busses and shared car rides whenever possible. You will safe big time and get to met many great people. It often makes the whole journey much more memorable!
Did I miss out on something? What is your opinion on Slow Travel? Let me know and leave a comment bellow!
Featured Image: Unsplash by Forrest Cavale