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  • Writer's pictureLieke Hulshof

Slow travel

I have travelled and lived in various places across the globe. From the African lands with its warm climates and basic living to the all-inclusive luxurious hotels in Egypt. In these resorts I could order any drink I’d like as a child (excluding the alcoholic ones of course). It seemed heaven.. Sure, I did enjoy the snorkelling and the swimming pools and the buffets. But… There’s a reason why I am writing this article about slow travel.

What is slow travel?

My most precious travel memories have been those of slow travel. Slow travel is a more conscious way of travel. Your intention is to calm down and be at peace. To be in connection with yourself, and with your environment. Rather than ticking bucket lists, we immerse ourselves in a place, get to understand its people, culture and nature. It is perfect for ‘discovering life and yourself in a deeper way’. Being present in the here and the now. Forgetting the past and the future. Slow travel does not necessarily mean basic travel, but it can include this. Often it gives us the opportunity to experience local and traditional ways of life.

Benefits of slow travel

  • Calming: Slow travel calms you down from busy life

  • Quality travel: There is time to take in all the beauty, making the most of your travel. Going slow makes you take time and discover hidden treasures along the way.

  • Budget-friendly: with slow travel you don’t need to consume so much to be fulfilled and happy. Your satisfaction comes from the purity of the life around you. You go for authentic places rather than fancy hotels, which are often cheaper.

  • Gratitude: when you take time for your coffee, your meal, a talk with someone.. you automatically feel so grateful.

  • Realising what matters: slow travel makes you experience the important things of life. Small moments, good relationships, nature, free time, hobbies, relaxation, self-discovery, and so on.

  • Sustainable: you can choose local food and lifestyle, public transport, shorter distances or longer periods spend further away. These choices contribute to a healthy Earth. Your relationship with the destination stimulates you to decrease your pollution in the area.

  • A fresh start for your life: Slow travel is like cleaning up your mind and life. By realising what is important for your well-being and what’s not, you can create new habits, get inspired by local projects, gain alternative experiences, and make new decisions for your own (daily) life. Coming back you can start easily from a clear canvas.

I hope you will start enjoying your own slow travel! Below are some tips to slow travel.

How to slow travel? 5 tips

  1. Seek only destinations you truly want to enjoy. Some places might seem good because many people have been there, but it’s not necessarily the most inspiring for you. Dare to seek new projects and places that bring value to you.

  2. Stay longer in a place to soak up its atmosphere. Rather than making a lot of kilometers and reaching a lot of destinations, you can choose few places and immerse yourself with them.

  3. Allow yourself relaxation. In a world full of stress and fast pace, it is rare to find a relaxed person. This is your life, and you can choose activities that make you relaxed. More importantly, you can choose to drop what is not relaxing. Letting go of expectations and plans is a big step towards enjoying life.

  4. Make different choices. Take the train instead of the car, choose an authentic accommodation, try a meditation course, volunteer at a project, learn about yoga, take an art class. Don’t mind what others do or say. Feel for yourself what you want!

  5. Be open and brave. Travelling is a way to expand yourself. Sometimes it’s just what we need. Take a volunteering job, meet different people, travel alone for a while.. It can seem like a threshold, but once we do it we gain so much self-confidence. Dreams can come with some fear, but remember that you can do anything.

And make sure to visit us and spend some good quality at Adara Farmstay here in India!

Personal experiences

I’ll share two slow travel experiences that helped me transform my daily life into peaceful and inspiring one.

I remember camping with my family in a tent as a child. My parents and us 3 children would travel to campings in France, Italy or Spain. Once arrived, we stayed for one or two weeks on a camping. There was no phone at that time. We had two crates filled with books, and a hammock (especially for my father). Occasionally we would make trips by car to explore the surroundings. But mostly I loved our times on the camping, to explore its the forests, lakes and beaches, taking a dip in the swimming pool and strolling through the neighbouring villages and towns. We cooked our food on a small gas stove and ate under the trees.

Another important experience for me was my solo travel through Thailand and Laos. Many times I was in a meditative state. At that time, I did not know what meditation was. But looking back I can see how much I was resting in myself - while eating, travelling, walking. I did not feel a need to seek the company of others so much. Yet, I felt very connected with my environment. It is empowering to feel how you can travel the world alone, and be your own best friend, and have great times wherever you go. And that we can feel very abundant in simple places.


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