Travel has become a race to see as many places as possible in as little time. The current way that we travel isn’t sustainable for the environment, nor our health or bank accounts. If we learn how to slow down our travels, we can start to see the world in a more sustainable way. This doesn’t mean cutting down on how much we travel, but there are several things that you can do to embrace a slower pace of seeing the world.
Reassess your reasons for travelling
Think about the reasons why you travel. Do you want to see new places and explore the world, or are you more focused on gathering likes and inciting jealousy on Instagram? If you’re travelling with the right intentions, you will find it easier to slow down the way in which you travel. Let go of the notion that you have to appease strangers and allow yourself to enjoy travel the way that you used to prior to social media.
Think about your mode of transport
We understand that some destinations can only be reached by flying, but there are other ways to get around when travelling short-haul. If your destination can be reached by train, why not hop on board and use the opportunity to gaze at the world outside the window or even take the journey overnight to save on accommodation costs. You could also plan a scenic road trip, where you’ll see much more of the world than if you were flying above the clouds.
Think quality over quantity
It’s not about how much you see or do, it’s about the quality of your experiences. Let go of the notion that you want to see everything in one trip and focus on the things that mean the most to you. Plan one activity per day and allow plenty of time for simply relaxing or wandering around without strict plans. Get off the beaten track and walk around without a map or without constantly checking the time, and allow yourself to stumble upon places that interest you.
Enjoy the moment
Don’t rush through meals or race through galleries, worried about what time it is and what you are doing next. Enjoy the moment and savour your experiences. If you’re particularly enjoying an experience or activity, allow yourself to linger. If you’re travelling with other people, don’t be scared to go your separate way for a few hours or a full day if you want to do different things.
Think about what YOU want to get out of the trip
You don’t have to visit the main tourist sights and landmarks if they don’t interest you personally. Research into your destination and make time for the things that you know you’ll enjoy—even if that just means relaxing on a beach. Don’t feel like you need to validate your trip to other people by visiting all of the ‘must-see’ places.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.