The slow traveler

By: Solkes
Photos: Nessa Twix

There are so many different things that people learn every day. For example, Slow Travel. I must say that for me this was a concept I had never heard of.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.
So, what exactly is Slow Travel? This movement was inspired by the SlowFood movement in Italy (1986). A movement that was created as a direct opposition to fast food awn what it represented. So, when this idea reached travellers Slow Travel was invented.

As a matter of fact, at the same time CittaSlow (slow cities) was also born. This are cities that try to impulse cultural diversity far more than living under the main stream and doing everything in mass production style. In order for a city of be “slow” it must comply with several criteria: not to be a capital city, to have less than 50000 inhabitants, to have an old square that is free form cars, only meant for pedestrians.

Over the last few hundred years there has been a subtle shift in how we think about travel. Sadly, in many opportunities the pleasure of the journey is eclipsed by anticipation of arrival. So, to get there fast is better than to travel slow.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

And then I wonder: what exactly is Slow Travel? Who is a slow traveler? Well, as I found out a slow travel is about making conscious choices. It is about deceleration rather than speed.

The most important fact is that the journey becomes a moment to relax, rather than a stressful interlude imposed between home and destination.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.
In other words, slow travel gives us a new sense of time, transforming it into a commodity of abundance rather than scarcity.

It also reshapes our relationship with places, encouraging and allowing us to engage more intimately with the communities through which we travel.

On the other hand, the slow traveller does not have to go by city after city in the blink an eye.

Many travellers are addicted to collecting cities and countries. The show traveler established a determined attitude towards the entire trip.

It is no secret that even the smallest town has thousands of different things to do. somethimes, it sounds pretencious to say: “I know this city, or country”, in reality you just know a version and a small part of it.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

But I guess its normal, after all the human brain tends to place into groups similar tings, to make generalisations because there is too much information to process.

In reality, when we go to a new destination and we don't have enough time, we barely get to try the food, actually know the place, have true experiences that may give us a picture of what that place really is like.

Some differences between a slow traveller and others.

Generally speaking, the traveller who take part of tours, include many cities in a very short period of time. There is never enough time and all day is packed with activities.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.
Waking up very early, museums, walking through town, boats, busses, restaurants, stores, picture times; all packed in and no real time to stack the experience.

This type of travel makes it almost impossible for a person to soak in the experience and to have a true and natural involvement with the place, the locals and their own environment.

All in all, keeping a quiet chat with local people, taking the time to read a book under the shade of a tree, or contemplating the pace of life from a square is not usually part of this type of travel.

As said before many travellers do not have the time. They are accustomed to a fast paced life, fast food, self-service and solve everything with calls and a couple of clicks.

Holidays represent a window where you have to make the most of every second, but sometimes in the midst of it all it is possible to miss the most important details of the trip.

By moving briefly from one place to another in order to know as many things as possible to not fully enjoy the trip.

Deep thoughts are the opportunity where one absorbs the most intense of a traveling experience. It is that moment where he realises his place in the middle of the road, his position in the world, the present moment and his relationship with others.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

In short, Slow Travel is to know one site rather than several quickly and superficially.

It is a travelling style that is deepening especially among those traveling at more flexible rates.

Most Slow Travellers are independent travellers, usually backpackers. And although backpackers there is of every budget, what attracts more of this style of travel is the tranquility to make decisions and comfort with the one can control the time and itinerary. It really doesn't matter how you do it, the key is to go at it slowly.

 


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