Slow travel can be referred to as a style or pace of travel. The concept of a slow lifestyle and slow travel is a movement that is gaining more and more traction as we are starting to realize the harmful impacts that over-tourism has on our environment and societies.
I definitely think over-tourism was becoming a huge problem pre-COVID pandemic. Over-tourism contributes to an increase in water consumption, air pollution, litter, and waste in tourism destinations just to name a few. Societal impacts can be quite detrimental as well to the locals by causing a loss of culture or loss of preservation of their cultural and/or religious sites.
How to slow travel in five ways?
1. Spend more time in one place rather than rushing destinations
2. Enjoy the journey – consider an overland train trip as opposed to flying, or walk/bike ride instead of driving
3. Avoid the tourist hot spots and engage in responsible tourist activities
4. Travel in the off season
5. Buy local (fair trade, suitably sourced, handmade)
I think in this time that we have not been able to travel due to the pandemic, it’s been a good opportunity to reflect on how we travel and ways in which we can adopt some sustainable and responsible traveling practices moving forward. I truly believe slow travel is the way forward in order for it to be sustainable in the future.
Why Is It Important?
To me, slow travel is also a stand against this fast-paced lifestyle that we’re encouraged to live in modern-day society, where busy is better and convenience takes precedence over time and effort. It’s about taking the time to enjoy the simple things and traveling at a slower & more sustainable pace to places that are less visited and exploring them deeper. It’s also looking at what activities you engage in, how you’re getting around while you travel, and ensuring you do not leave any trace behind. These concepts aren’t always considered during a ‘quick’ vacation to tourist hotspots.
Slow travel ensures that you not only get the most benefit, but the local people and the world around you do, too. It is to travel with intent and to truly travel deeper and immerse yourself in the environment and culture. It’s a conscious effort to connect with yourself, those around you, and the world we live in.
Lastly, without sounding too cliché, slow travel is about the journey, not just the destination.
Hi there, my name is Elana! I’m a travel blogger based in Sydney. I have a growing passion for slow travel and intentional living and hope to raise awareness around these topics. Hopefully, you liked my guest post for Travelinsightpedia. For more, you can visit my Instagram @exploring_slowly.