Slow travelling – The art of travelling mindfully

by | Travel pace, Travel tips | 0 comments

Slow Travelling is the inner attitude of travelling with open senses, engaging with people and places and having new experiences with positive after-effects. It is not only important where we travel, but also how we do it. But how does slow travel work? Here’s a little help on how I practice this beautiful art of travelling:

1. Time

Take your time, explore not only must sees, but also the neighbourhoods and areas where real locals live. The most beautiful tours I did in Thailand, for example, were on a moped through landscapes and villages, without Google Maps. I discovered places and spots that I would never have seen if I had a fixed programme and that I remember very fondly. Must-sees are only part of your journey!

2. Language

Language is the key to the world, and it’s true! Therefore, learn the most important words of your destination and try to get in touch with locals – without any pressure – and you will see how much respect they will treat you with. English is not spoken everywhere, so it is important to know words like “Good day” or “Thank you” to also immerse yourself in the culture of a country.

3. Means of transport

Slow Travelling for me means soaking up as much of the surroundings as possible. I like to travel by bus, train and boat, I take a moped to discover hidden places, villages, landscapes, also by feet. I avoid cars as much as possible, if only for days at a time, to explore places that can’t be reached by public transport or moped. This is not only good for the environment, but also for your budget. Plus, you’ll always be rewarded with great views from the train or bus that you miss out on when driving a car!

4. Food

Always look for restaurants where locals eat, far away from mass tourism, and try different, traditional dishes that may sound strange at first. For example, I’m not a big fan of anchovies and one day on my trip to Sicily I came across the “Pizza Rianata” in the Trapani region and jumped over my shadow… and I didn’t regret it afterwards!

5. Workaway

Ever heard of workaway? It works similar to work&travel, here you work as a volunteer in different areas such as animal welfare, agriculture, but also in the tourism sector for about 20 hours/week and in return you are provided with accommodation and food. It’s an ideal way to experience places and locals more intensively, learn the language and acquire valuable skills along the way.

I did a total of five and helped with the olive harvest in Tuscany and Puglia, immersing myself in the everyday life of a family. It is these intense experiences that have shaped me.

You’re probably thinking to yourself now: but how am I supposed to do that with my job if I only have a few weeks’ holiday a year? Again, I can reassure you, because Slow Travelling is always doable!

…and how?

The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is to check in and then just go for it, without Google Maps and without visiting the first sight. In between, stop at a café, enjoy and observe. That’ the way I get a feeling for the new place. After 1-2 hours, I end up unexpectedly at a must-see anyway, and without rushing.

If you integrate a few points into your next trip, you will see that your tours will be completely different! Guarantee!


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