The traditional travelling idea treats the place we visit as an alien land, culturally in comprehensible and socially disconnected from our home-taught sensibilities. We tend to look at the people of the host communities as more of anthropological figures and our tourist excursions include sampling their foods and lifestyles in a way that imitates laboratory experiments.
Neither our mental inclination nor our tight travel schedule allows us sufficiently understand the place we visit. Worse, for many among us, it is more of a photographic opportunity that we later past on our scrapbooks or highlight on the social media sites. But this mindset of travelling is however changing and we are seeing the advent of a new trend in the world of tourism. This is slow travelling.
What is slow travel
The word is self-explanatory. The word simply melts down travelling to go slow when visiting a place. It involves taking an unhurried tour of the place we visit and staying back there for a while. It is not about covering as many sites as possible, involves going to only a few places, say one of them at a time, and live the life of a native there.
The idea of the concept is traced to the slow-food movement of Italy in the 80s as a reaction against fast-food movement that was gaining popularity worldwide through the agency of certain American Fast-food chains. Many saw the Fast-food concept by many as an invasion on the old way of living and socializing among the people of the local communities.
How to go slow
Go to the place you wish to visit with adequate time at hand, a minimum of one-week time is necessary if you wish to explore the place at leisure. Instead of you checking into a hotel, look out for alternate lodging accommodations. Farmhouses and locally owned guesthouses located around the city centers and the suburbs are the ideal choice. Avoid swanky living.
Travel by public mode of transport and if that is not to your liking rent a cycle or a bike locally. Try to merge into the local life. Staying with the people and interacting with them will let you understand the people better and help you gain greater appreciation for their way of life. Let the place grow in you.
Do not hurry; instead match your steps with pace of local life. Explore the place at your own leisure with no qualms of a tight schedule that should hurry you through.
Where to go
Avoid the more commercialized and jaded tourist destination. Instead, explore the less visited ones. Look for fluidness. These places will provide you with fewer hassles of tourists’ guides, travel agents, travel touts, and instead give you an invigorating experience. Do not expect anything fanciful or wonderful to come your way. Sometimes an aimless wandering leads you into serendipity.
Lingering on in cafes and local eateries is a good way of documenting the local life. You can even get interactive with the local people in there, once you have properly settled in. You will find that the local people in less explored destination are delight to talk to. They are helpful and willing to help in earnest.
A conversation with any of them even might reveal to you new unexplored places and unfold some local folk lore that you will not find in the travel books and guides you read.
Slow travelling is about real discovery of the place you visit and is in fact a discovery of the real inner self. Slow travelling by slowing down our pace of moving, accelerates the experiences of the place we visit through a more wholesome and more fulfilling staying among the host communities.