Slow travel is definitely gaining popularity these days, with more and more people looking to ditch the fast-paced life in favour of a slower, more intentional way of living. But what does that actually mean? And what can you expect when you start to slow travel?
Slow travel is all about taking your time when exploring a new place and truly savoring the experience. Rather than quickly hopping from one destination to the next, slow travel encourages travellers to spend more time in fewer places and really get to know an area and immerse yourself in the culture.
So whether you’re curious about slow travel or you’re already sold on the idea, read on for everything you need to know!
1. Form deeper connections
One of the best parts of slow travel is that it allows you to connect with locals, other travellers and yourself in a more meaningful way. Instead of stopping in a place just long enough to check out the tourist spots, you’ll have the opportunity to form real relationships with people who live there. You might even make some lifelong friends along the way!
Whether it’s chatting with someone at the local café or joining a group activity, slowing down will give you more chances to meet locals and get an insider’s view of the area. This is especially true if you’re travelling solo—you’ll be amazed at how friendly and helpful strangers can be!
As you begin to see the world in new ways, you just might learn some new things about yourself too.
2. Find hidden gems
When you commit to slow travel, you never know what amazing surprises are waiting around the corner. You might stumble across an off-the-beaten-path viewpoint or discover a hidden restaurant that only locals know about. No matter what activities you enjoy, having more time allows you to take it all in and discover places that most tourists miss out on!
3. Learn a new language
If you plan on staying in one place for an extended period of time, why not use this opportunity to pick up some basics in the local language? Even just learning how to say “hello” and “thank you” can go a long way toward making connections with people living in that area. And if your language skills improve over time, imagine how much easier it will be for you to explore even further regions of your destination and beyond!
If you are looking to expand your Spanish or Italian speaking skills, check out the OCW Academy for full immersion, crash courses, and monthly language support.
4. Spend less, see more
Since your accommodation costs tend to stay roughly the same no matter where you go, slow travel opens up more opportunities for exploration without breaking the bank. Unlike traditional travel where you’re constantly buying transportation or attraction tickets, you will naturally save money by being able to spread your activities out. You can also be way more selective about where and when you spend your cash and how much.
Scope out the big attractions to decide for yourself if they’re really worth visiting. Buy and cook local food at your Airbnb, hotel, or hostel instead of always eating out. You’ll be surprised how much extra cash you can save without sacrificing your travel experience.
Plus, because slow travellers tend to take fewer flights overall (which means fewer carbon emissions), it’s also great for the environment!
5. Become a traveller – not a tourist
Slow travel gives travellers the opportunity to become part of their destination rather than just passing through. Staying in one spot longer means that travellers can really appreciate their surroundings and immerse – the sights, smells and sounds – and feel like they truly belong somewhere else instead of simply visiting as an outsider looking in.
This kind of authentic experience offers invaluable insight into different cultures that simply can’t be found anywhere else. Slow travel can also be used as a tool for personal, professional and spiritual transformation – one that helps you become a more open-minded and resilient person.
There is no right or wrong answer in tourist vs. traveller. You do you. But if you want to truly experience the world, learn about yourself and this planet. The school and art of Slow Travel is the way.
If you’re ready to slow travel solo for 3+ weeks – check out our OCW Academy for our ultimate solo travel planning course! So excited for your trip 😉
Feeling inspired to book your first slow trip? I’d love to hear about it! Reach out through the contact form or connect with me over on IG @ourconnectedworld