No, I am not slow.
But I would like to be…some times.
There is this “new-ish” trend in travel. It is called Slow Travel. I don’t pretend to be an expert.
It speaks for itself. Travel slowly and in doing so, the traveller experiences a deeper understanding of the place, its culture and its people. The antithesis of the whirlwind trip around Europe; 6 countries in 6 days.
Jaz, my sheltie, has mastered the art of travelling slow. Being a somewhat older dog, she likes to take her time and sniff the grass when we walk together. And apparently grass remains fascinating, no matter where we are; each little patch of it deserving extra care and attention.
I could learn from her. You can see why from the photograph below. True story. Jade, Chris and I in New York City.
I have to laugh when I look at it now. It is not exactly a number 1 mom moment!
My thinking was If I speed it up, so will they. Then this can happen…. and that can happen. And pathetically, I can’t even remember where I was headed or what was supposed to happen. I was just in a hurry to get things done.
So I have been consciously trying to build in slow time when we travel now as a family. When I plan, I try to have only one activity per day and then some days I plan nothing, an oxymoron, but necessary for me, the travel moron.
Inevitably the nothing becomes a some thing that we all choose but then it is a some thing that feels less like a travel must and more like a travel want. Keep some spontaneity and flexibility for those paths that look interesting and lead to who knows where. What is at the end may be just as interesting as that art gallery that we were told we “had” to see. You will never know until you make the time to explore the “nothing” on your list.
So although I have made some head way into the world of slow travel, I still struggle. Two weeks in Italy? Challenging. The entire country is a traveller’s dream. I need 50 – 2 weeks holidays to see what I want. Two weeks in Guatemala? It is killing me. How do I get to Todos Santos and Tikal (in opposite directions) and still spend time at Lake Atitlan? Three weeks in Morocco? Stressful. We have to get to the Sahara Desert but then I must see Essaouira and also want to spend some down time in Chefchaouen.
Time forces choices. And choices make me want to speed up.
So there is only one solution to succeeding at this slow travel thing.
Only travel. Nothing else.
Then I promise… I really promise… that I will travel slowly.
Travelling slowly through A to Z from the Family C