What is Slow Travel? | The Art of Savouring Lifes Sweet Moments
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If you’ve ever been on a holiday or travelled, you probably felt like you needed another vacation to re-energise from the first one. Do not worry; you are not the only one! It happens to most of us because that is the way trips work. You visit a destination, you want to experience the most of it while you are there, and then in a snap of your fingers, your energy is all gone, and you are back home.
Then you probably start wondering how to change this and what to do to enjoy your journeys more. Well, two magical words will help you figure this out – slow travelling! It is a brilliant way of achieving meaningful experiences by doing something different from everything you have done before during your travels. Believe us, it takes only one time to get a taste, and you will never want to return to your old travelling habits!
If you have never heard of slow travelling, now is the time to learn about it! Our guide is designed to explain the notion of slow travel and make you see its true power. And who knows, maybe after reading it, you will immediately start packing and get the chance to give your life an authentic experience right in New Zealand!
Image – leading the way in slow travel
What is Slow Travel
Slow travel is literally that – travelling slowly! It means to take your time in destinations and between them too – making the travel work for you so you don’t return home exhausted, needing a holiday after your holiday!
Benefits of Slow Travel
Being a slow traveller in New Zealand means enjoying benefits you have never experienced before. It is a chance to see how normal life feels like in the destination you are visiting. In short, when you decide to practice slow travel, you unlock multiple advantages you were unaware of.
1. More authentic cultural experiences
When you do not want to feel like a tourist, slow travel is the key! Namely, being a slow traveller in a destination you have always wanted to visit means getting the opportunity to adjust yourself to a slow living just like the locals.
Even though you will probably spend time visiting attractions, you will still do it at your own pace. This means that you will not have to rush from one place to another to ensure you have seen everything. Moreover, you will spend time in a local community and make real connections. It will be your chance to get to know how people really live and what their mindset is.
Not to mention the opportunity to savour local food and cuisine and experience the delights of traditional cooking methods. Slow tourism is another branch of travelling that allows you to enter a different world and live the way you have heard local people do. The option to blend in with local residents is a lifetime experience and your window to numerous cultural experiences you have never imagined you could have.
2. No Rush Road Trips
As we mentioned, slow travel does not require you to rush anywhere. So, staying in one place will allow you to take your travelling adventures slowly. This means you will even have the chance to explore the surrounding areas by scheduling numerous trips. Changing locations is always a good idea!
Since you will have enough time to plan and see many things, you will have the opportunity to arrange trips and experience the areas that local residents love. Your slow travel itinerary can feature weekend or afternoon plans to close regions that offer amazing sights of the natural world or gorgeous places you might have on your bucket list.
3. It Brings More Meaning to Your Travels
Slow travel exists to make your trips more authentic and give them a special meaning. By spending time in one city or town for a more extended period, you get the benefit of incorporating mindful travel and avoiding the box-ticking mentality most tourists have when visiting a particular place. You will be able to enjoy every moment of your slow travels and really feel the energy of the destination you are visiting.
4. Deeper connections
Slow travellers have the opportunity to get familiar with the local language, learn the local customs, and make deeper connections. Your next trip does not have to be about taking pictures of famous monuments but spending time with local people. You will see that slow travel encourages you to be more open-minded and change your perspectives. This is an excellent example of how travelling makes you richer!
5. Deeper understanding of the world
People who try slow travel get to see the world from a different perspective. Local experience provides you with various points of view you would never have imagined having. Meeting locals is a chance to see how people think and go with their lives. You will understand what life is about and what is important to you. Do not be surprised if you return home as a new person – that is what slow travel does!
6. You’ll Leave a Traveller, Not a Tourist
You have probably had that feeling of not belonging somewhere. Even if you have travelled a lot around the world, you have never been able to get rid of that touristy feeling. However, slow travel will turn you into a real traveller rather than a tourist. Since you will learn how to live in a local community, you will figure out a way to avoid tourist traps and enjoy the destination on your own.
7. Break out of your comfort zone
Nothing exciting happens in the comfort zone, and you are probably aware of it. Travelling is about getting out of it and experiencing something more. Slow travel gets you to discover a new way of life that will bring you adventure rather than comfort. Do not get us wrong, we cherish comfort, but life is not always about being comfortable. To feel alive, you need to let your guard down and do something unordinary. For example, you can start by planning your next trip differently!
8. Slow Travel Has a Lower Environmental Impact
While travelling around the world is fun, it is also harmful to the environment. Just think about your carbon footprint and the many times you have used air travel. If you are looking for ways to become more environmentally responsible, then slow travel is your answer. Staying in one place for a long time will allow you to be more cautious about the planet and positively impact sustainable tourism.
9. You Get to Experience Raw Travel Moments
When you prepare for a trip, you probably plan every single moment you are about to spend in a foreign country. However, slow travel gives you the freedom to choose your options once you get there. Moreover, it allows you to experience unexpected moments and local cultures uniquely. This is a way of creating real memories that will stay with you forever.
The Importance of Slow Travelling
When you decide to travel slowly, you open new opportunities for yourself. Staying in one place and incorporating slow travel movement does not mean visiting tourist attractions at a slow pace. On the contrary, it means that you are about to become richer and learn the importance of life from a different perspective. Travelling slowly is about working on yourself, not just a change of scenery and ticking off things from your to-do list. More precisely, it is about treating yourself to experiences you can never experience at home.
Slow travel does not require a big budget. You may need to spend more initially, but once you establish yourself in a particular location, you begin living as if you are a part of the New Zealand community. You do not have to spend all your money on tourist spots and attractions but rather live as a local whose day includes working rather than wandering around tourist places.
Spending a night with residents, be it in an agritourism stay, locally-owned bed and breakfast or guesthouse, opting for a cultural homestay, enhances the authenticity of your slow travels. Opting for free accommodation with locals rather than paying for vacation rentals will give you a fantastic opportunity to experience New Zealand – if you’re interested, look into WWOOFING.
Don’t try to see everything on your list or, better yet, don’t make a list at all
Mindful travel and slow movement is not about lists. If you are used to travelling with a list, now is the time to abandon it. If you want to see New Zealand in the true light, then you should try and let yourself go without one. Leave room for a few surprises; you will not regret it!
Avoid the Tourist Attractions
Slow travel does not mean that you have to avoid the tourist spots. Nonetheless, if you want a unique experience, then it is best to avoid what every foreigner is doing. Following the life of New Zealanders will give you a greater chance to create unforgettable memories and obtain authentic travelling features.
Eating with Locals
To feel the magic of slow travel, you will have to experience the notion of eating with locals. Trying food coming from a local market and enjoying the regional cuisine brings the eating experience to a different level. Slow travel and local food come hand in hand and allow you to enjoy the present moment. Trust us, the slow food movement will be the highlight of your experience!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I slow travel with a 9-to-5 job?
If your job allows you to work remotely, then you can freely consider slow travel as your option.
Learn how to take your remote job on the road as you travel the world
Slow travelling means staying in one place for a long time, experiencing local culture and blending with local communities. However, unless you have some miraculous income without actually working, you will need to look for ways to take your job while travelling in New Zealand.
Luckily, with so many jobs going remote, you do not have to worry about being unemployed during your travelling experience. Nonetheless, before you even begin making arrangements for your slow travel adventure, you should have a good plan for your work situation. This means figuring out your whole working schedule in advance.
First, you will have to establish your working hours before planning your travel itinerary. You may need to check with your company and ensure their policies allow you to work as intended. Moreover, you will need to determine whether you will have good working conditions, such as a stable wireless connection, a pleasant working environment, and so on. You might need to find a co-working space before arriving at your destination because you do not want your slow travelling to begin on the wrong foot. So, remember that ensuring good conditions for your remote work is one of the primary things you have to figure out before your travels.
Isn’t slow travel for older people?
Slow travel is for everyone who wants to experience the power of travelling in a different way. Everyone can benefit from it, so there is no age limit.
Slow travel offers a unique perspective on life. When seeking a break from the routine, it provides an opportunity to embrace the possibilities of a leisurely journey fully. Adopting a mindset geared towards slow travel enables you to discover new and enriching experiences. Not only does it simplify and add interest to your travel planning, but it also affords you the chance to explore the essence of New Zealand. Don’t hesitate any longer – prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime!
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