~ No, I’m not talking about that person dawdling along the footpath just ahead of you, who seems to anticipate your every change in direction and constantly steps in front of you slowing down your progress.
And no, I’m not talking about that driver on the interstate who seems to be cruising along as slow as humanly possible in the fast lane (I often wonder if it’s the same person).
Slow travellers are those who take the time to learn about the locations they are visiting. They want to immerse themselves in the customs, culture, and daily life of the people. Rather than squeeze three or four ‘attractions’ into each day, they may only visit one, thereby allowing themselves time to appreciate and really see the art in the Louvre, or the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City.
I’m talking about travelling ‘slowly’ as a way of life. As a way of being part of the landscape and society you are moving through. Whether that be your own neighbourhood, or some far flung location a long way from home.
This quote from the Slow Movement website... neatly sums up the philosophy behind the concept: "Slow is not about doing everything at a snail's pace; it's about working, playing and living better by doing everything at the right speed."
The Slow Travel Manifesto outlines the ideas further:
What is Slow Travel?
- We're rethinking how we escape.
- Instead of a fast-paced, 'no-frills' experience, Slow Travel is an engaging exploration of landscapes and cultures. We want to celebrate the local. And recognise the journey as an integral part of the travelling experience.
- To truly escape, we need to nurture the right frame of mind as much as choose the right destination.
You can visit the Slow Movement website... for the full Manifesto.
Like all philosophies you don’t have to agree with everything the authors write. While I don’t fully embrace every idea they espouse, I do agree with the overall thrust of what they are trying to achieve.
So the next time you are on vacation, slow down; stop to smell the roses; and immerse yourself fully in the lives of the people around you.
Oh, and watch out for speeding tourists, checklists in hand, trying to rush past you as they attempt to squeeze in one last attraction before closing time.
Online Resources: more information about Slow Travel can be found at the Slow Travel Blog…