This way of travelling is called slow travel.
It is travelling without haste, without lists of things to do, without looking at the clock. It is travelling by connecting with the place where you are, it’s trying new food, it’s enjoying new music, it’s meeting local people.
It is also being flexible with what may happen on the road and looking for another alternative that might surprise you. It is staying in the place enjoying, reading, taking photos or simply looking at what is around you. It is going to a restaurant, having a dinner party and cheering for that food that you have never tried before.
But before I start, I would like to apologize for the misleading title.
Surely you clicked it thinking that this blog entry was going to give you the definitive solution or the answer to something, and the truth is that it will not.
I understand that all of us, and even more in this uncertain moment, go to our favourite websites or content creators to be told what to do and how to do it, but this is not going to be the case.
I want to invite you to reflect because I think we have to find a way that works for each one of us and, even if it is difficult, I invite you to try.
Ask yourself important questions
Some questions you can ask yourself when planning your trip are: What type of trip do I want to do? What do I want to know? Do I want to have days off to do absolutely nothing? Do I want to go back to a place that I have already been or do I want to go to a new city?
You may have read this last question and your traveller voice in your head may have said “why am I going to return to a place that I have already been to ?! I’ll leave that for when my passport is full with different stamps!” Well, shutting up that voice, it’s also slow travel.
Because in the past few years travelling has become an obligation.
They have been telling us that “if you don’t travel your life will be incomplete.” But I think that it takes out a little (or a lot) of the beauty of travelling because it is no longer a thing for pleasure, rather it is another social mandate that must be fulfilled and the way that it feels about it doesn’t feel good.
That is why I think it is important to ask yourself those questions, to be honest with ourselves and if we want to go back to a place, to just do it. And, if we miss some must-see stops for tourists, don’t get upset because, in reality when you go to the places that you chose and that you want to see, your energy and your predisposition is different, since you are doing it for pleasure and out of curiosity without obligations imposed by others.
Research before you travel
Now that you have some more tools to put together a tailor-made trip, then comes the research part about that place you want to know. But how do you know if the places my favourite travel influencer recommended are worth it?
You always have to keep in mind that this is their work and they know how to edit the photos well, so many times it ends up happening that the expectation and the reality are very different.
And here is a travel tip that I use: look at the photos that are in the location of Google Maps and on Instagram look for the location and go to the ‘most recent’ tab.
In these places, the people who upload the images are vacationing and have no interest in presenting the place as super beautiful, because that is not their job. And that’s where you can see more clearly the real colours of the place or if whenever it is crowded or not.
Another tip is to build lists on Google Maps. This allows you to know if the places you want to go to are close to where you are staying, and how long it will take to get there. Sometimes it is not worth the trip to see a single tourist attraction and it is preferable to use that day on something else.
But the most important tip I can give you is: take the time to ask yourself questions about what kind of trip you want to have, and what you decide is going to be fine. Because, in reality, there are no rules for travelling.