Mastering the Art of Slow Travel: A Mindful Approach to Exploration

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In this fast-paced world, we have very little time to take a moment and just breathe. We’re always in the rush, always running somewhere. But things are slowly changing, at least when it comes to traveling.

Recently, slow travel and conscious living have been gaining quite a bit of popularity. Probably because a slow travel mindset allows us to slow down and take a break from the stressful digital lives we lead.

If you’re interested in finding out what slow travel is, keep on reading.                                                  

What is slow travel?

Slow travel can be defined as an approach to travel that emphasizes connection to people, places, traditions, cultures, and food. This sort of traveling allows us to savor the real essence of travel. Many discover that slow travel is the best way to fully relax and disconnect from the rest of the world.

Slow travel is exactly as its name suggests, traveling slowly, taking time to thoroughly discover each new destination. To explore without rushing.

It’s about a mindful approach to exploration rather than a slower means of transportation.

Benefits of slow travel

There are many benefits of slow traveling. One of the greatest benefits is learning to experience travel as people did in the past. Not to document every moment, but to enjoy and experience the destination on many different levels.

Here are some of the benefits of slow travel.

Breaking out of comfort zones

Traveling isn’t always easy and carefree. For some people, traveling can be daunting. There are language barriers, and cultural barriers that can be difficult to overcome. But at the same, time it’s these experiences that will help you break out of your comfort zone. 

These experiences will also teach you valuable lessons and make you a more knowledgeable traveler. And that’s what slow traveling is all about, learning new things and experiencing your destination thoroughly while breaking out of your comfort zone.

Preventing tourist burnout

Tourist burnout happens when you leave your trip feeling more tired than when you arrived. We always try to see and experience as much as possible in a short time, and that leaves us feeling exhausted. 

How many times were you armed with a bottle of water dressed in a stubby holder from Stubbs and Mattee? ready to see all the sights in one day? 

Instead, why don’t you try to ditch that frame of mind, don’t make lists, and just enjoy the trip without needing to see everything?

Saving money

Slow travel can save you quite a bit of money. Instead of staying at expensive hotels and eating in pricey restaurants, the slow-traveling approach advises staying at rental properties and cooking your food while traveling.

This will not only save you money but also help you experience culture and meet local people. Expensive traveling isn’t always the best way to enjoy your destination.

Making connections

Being free of plans and schedules will allow you to explore your destination, mingle around, meet locals, and learn their language. Slow travel allows you to slow down, talk to people, get to know them, and make connections. And that’s the whole point and all the charm of traveling.

Ways to integrate a slow travel mindset into your lifestyle

If what you’ve read so far appeals to you, you’re probably wondering how to best integrate a slow travel mindset into your lifestyle. There are numerous things that you can do to incorporate slow travel into your lifestyle or your next vacation. Let’s check them out.

Change your travel mindset

To be able to truly slow travel, you’ll need to change your travel mindset. This implies traveling for the sake of experiences and love of travel, rather than traveling for the sake of conquering another place or getting an Insta shot.

It’s not easy changing a mindset, but once you do, you’ll be able to enjoy traveling again. You’ll be able to slow down, immerse yourself in this new place, and open yourself up for new opportunities.

Don’t make a list of things to see

Incorporating a slow travel mindset into your lifestyle also means letting go of some of your travel habits. As tourists and travelers, we often make these schedules and plans on what to see when at our destination.

Then we rush to cram all the sightseeing in one or two days, and we forget to enjoy it. And that’s exactly the opposite of slow traveling. If you want to adopt a slow travel mindset, you’ll need to let go of plans, lists, and schedules. Just leave the room for surprises and spontaneity.

Opt for vacation rentals

As mentioned, staying in vacation rentals will not only save you money but will also get you off the usual tourist trails and allow you to experience a foreign country in different ways.

Get in touch with locals through different websites such as Airbnb or booking and see what sort of accommodation they have to offer.

You may even discover that home exchange is a great way to save money and swap homes with someone from your dream destination.

Cook your own food

Another great thing about vacation rentals is the access to the kitchen. This means that you won’t need to sacrifice your meals to be able to enjoy your trips better. Nor will you have to spend all your money on expensive restaurant meals.

With access to a kitchen, you can prepare local meals with your twist. That’s also a great way to enjoy slow travel.

Learn a new language

Slow travel allows you to learn a new language. Sometimes, rushing to see everything we can prevents us from some of our traveling goals, which may include learning a new language.

Traveling slowly can change that. If you allow yourself to slow down and show interest in a certain culture, you can meet many wonderful local people who will be glad to teach you their language. And who knows - these connections may lead to lifelong friendships.

Conclusion

It’s incredible what slowing down and taking a mindful approach to travel can do. In addition to lifelong memories, it can also help us truly connect and immerse ourselves in the culture and traditions of places we’re visiting. 

We can learn so much more, and experience and savor the real essence of traveling.

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