Slow travel is about connection to a place and its culture
If you find yourself creating a long list of destinations on your bucket list that you want to see, it may be time to slow down and think about why it is you want to travel in the first place. If you want an authentic experience, one that leaves you feeling like you truly got to know the places, people, and cultures you’ve met on your travels, slow travel is for you.
But what is slow travel?
Slow travel is a way of travelling that stresses connection to the people, customs, food, and music of the place you’re visiting. It is based on the premise that a holiday should educate, as well as have an emotional impact while being environmentally and locally sustainable.
Do you know what the slow food movement is all about? Same principle, different industry. When it comes to travel, a slow mindset encourages people to put aside their lists and Instagram opportunities and simply enjoy what the local community has to offer. Focus on things that locals do every day, things that thrill and bring them delight, rather than hitting the popular locations listed online. These connections will have a far greater influence on you than the memory of rushing from tourist attraction to tourist attraction.
This isn’t just a new way of travelling; it’s an attitude. When travelling, prioritise the quality of your experiences rather than the number of your experiences. Opting for slow travel means you get to wake up, unsure of the experiences that await you, but knowing that what your encounter will be worth far more than a status update on Facebook. Rather than rushing through everything, focus on activities that will give you an unforgettable experience.
How do you experience slow travel?
So what kind of slow experiences are there? Imagine learning how to make handmade beads from a local craftsman in Botswana, or going out on the Zambezi with a native fisherman to reel in the day’s catch, or getting to know the Maasai tribe’s subtleties. During your holiday, you want to uncover something that will leave a mark on your soul rather than a carbon footprint on untouched land. When you choose slow travel, you’ll find adventures that will make you feel something—whether it’s an evening spent on a guided game drive through the Kruger National Park, a day spent contemplating local rock paintings from a bygone era, or an afternoon spent river rafting along the Chobe.