Before I understood slow travel, I remember that travel was a stress, because you only had so many days to see a city in, before moving onto the next place. The deadlines, the pre-booked tickets, the rushing from one famous site to another. You didn’t have time to relax and take in beautiful views off the beaten track, such as this amazing view of the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria.
That’s how I used to travel as a student, and someone working the 9-5, because time was so limiting. You had to fit your travel into the amount of days you had in your university holidays, or how many days you could get off work.
I don’t think that travel should be a stress. Here’s why I have completely changed the way I travel…
Why I have Changed the Way that I Travel
The main reason that I have changed the way that I travel is because of my health and a longing to enjoy the moment.
Health-wise, I got diagnosed with a frontal lobe cavernoma which can cause epilepsy and anxiety. It makes me more susceptible to the stress and strains of modern life. It made me want to see and experience more, because life is valuable and limited. It also made me want to live in the moment and enjoy the NOW!
I didn’t feel that I could enjoy travel if my travel itineraries were so strict and set in stone. I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed anymore. This is why I am now an advocate of Slow Travel.
How I have Changed the Way that I Travel
By taking out the stress of a 9-5 job, I am a fan of slow travel, which is better for the mind, body and soul. This means that I can travel and work on my laptop in blogging and marketing on the road. It means that I can take it easy as I travel with flexibility.
Does it really matter if you were only supposed to spend 2 weeks in a country, but you end up spending 6? No! Does it really matter if you want to jack in the desert trek for a coastal city? Of course not. Go with the flow and enjoy what you need to, rather than ticket countries and cities off a list.
In a recent trip to Morocco, Essaouira was never initially on the schedule. However, as the heat of the Sahara desert was proving too much of a challenge, we rescheduled a few hostels to have some relief of the heat in the beautiful coastal town. I also got to see the Game of Thrones city of Astapor! I can’t imagine changing plans like that around 10 years ago. Everything was so strict with transport all pre-booked. If I hadn’t learnt how to become more flexible and travel slowly for enjoyment, I may never have seen this beautiful city…
Top Tips for Slow Travel
- Book in rest days and days for socialising with new buddies.
- If you suffer from a disability or unseen health condition such as asthma, epilepsy or anxiety, book in a few ‘healthy days’ where you can re-cooperate or visit a doctor if you need to.
- Be flexible with your plans – don’t pre-book all of your accommodation or transport online in advance.
- Find a job that you can do online if you want to be a digital nomad e.g. blogging, network marketing or social media freelancing.
- Book a one way ticket – go on, I dare you! I did this with a one way flight to Istanbul. People asked ‘What day are you coming back?’ To be able to answer ‘When I feel like it!’ was so liberating!
Are you a fan of slow travel? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your comments on my blog.