Why you get more out of your travels when you don’t hurry

Things are shifting. Today, more and more of us are realizing the folly of turning every moment into a race against the clock.

We do the unthinkable. we slow down And guess what? It turns out that a slow life is not a boring one. On the contrary, slowing down is the best way to enjoy life to the fullest.

It makes you calmer, healthier and happier. You do everything better and enjoy it more. Many start by slowing down with eating. You’ll be part of this trend if you’re baking sourdough or shopping at a farmer’s market.

Carl Honore, author of It's the Journey Not The Destination, reveals that if you slow down on vacation,

Carl Honore, author of It’s the Journey Not The Destination, reveals that when you slow down on vacation, “you start noticing things, your senses come alive, you come home with renewed energy…”

Millions are now also trying slower forms of medicine (acupuncture or massage) and exercise (yoga or Pilates). Consider SuperSlow weightlifting. Instead of taking six seconds to lift and lower a weight, it takes you 20 seconds. This trains the muscles to exhaustion, so it’s more effective.

Slowing down also works wonders in the bedroom. We giggled when Sting talked about romping around in tantric style for hours, but now couples are flocking to workshops to learn the art of leisurely lovemaking.

Even the business world, where the cult of speed is deepest, is warming to the idea of ​​deceleration. Why? Because slowness promotes communication, accuracy, creativity, teamwork and deep thinking.

Carl recommends slower means of transport such as bicycle, train or ship. Pictured is a vacationer in a canoe in Utah

Carl recommends slower means of transport such as bicycle, train or ship. Pictured is a vacationer in a canoe in Utah

As Mae West put it, “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” This is especially true when it comes to travel. If you move through the world too quickly, you’ll miss small details that make each location unique and visit areas without really experiencing them.

As you slow down, you start noticing things and later remembering them. You connect with people. Your senses come alive. You also come home refreshed. Here are my tips for slow travel…

Enjoy the journey

When you use slower modes of transportation – bike, train, boat, your feet – the journey becomes a moving feast. I recently traveled back to London from Italy by train. It was exciting to watch the light and landscape change as we drove through the Alps. The same applies to cars. Driving more slowly lets you enjoy the view and saves fuel.

Get lost on purpose

To plan or not to plan? Carl shares how he had a more authentic experience in Buenos Aires (above) while wandering around without a map

To plan or not to plan? Carl shares how he had a more authentic experience in Buenos Aires (above) while wandering around without a map

If you always know where you are, you will never find anything new. Try walking without a map. I did this once in Buenos Aires and stumbled across an asado (barbecue). I spent the evening chatting and dancing with the locals. Thirty years later, I can still remember the deep, smoky flavor of chorizo ​​served straight off the grill.

Eliminate distraction

Technology can be your best friend – or your worst enemy. Every minute you spend staring at a phone is a minute not spent enjoying the world. So turn off your devices and turn on your senses.

I was checking my phone in a taxi to Dubrovnik the other day. When my battery died, I looked up – just in time to watch the sun set behind the stone walls of what is perhaps the most beautiful medieval city in the world.

Be spontaneous

Planning every detail of your trip kills spontaneity, the cornerstone of a great trip. The richest experiences are often unplanned. Leave blank blocks in your itinerary so you can do whatever you want. Lie on the grass, join a passing parade, accept a sudden invitation to hit the beach. Or just people watch.

And don’t worry about kids getting bored. What bores them is rushing on someone else’s schedule. If you slow down and let them help you decide what to do next, everyone will have more fun.

Start sketching

Drawing is an antidote to the drive-by approach of photography. I always travel with a sketch pad. The results are often the butt of family jokes. But drawing helps me stop and stare. I can still vividly remember every travel highlight I’ve outlined over the years.

Open your mind

Want to learn something new while on vacation? Carl says he still uses tricks he learned in Valencia when making paella at home

Want to learn something new while on vacation? Carl says he still uses tricks he learned in Valencia when making paella at home

Learning takes time, but it is the best souvenir. Travel with a phrasebook and learn to flirt, order coffee or discuss the weather in a new language. Or sign up for a class with a local historian or artisan. When I make paella today, I still use a few tricks I learned in a cooking class in Valencia.

Less is more

You don’t feel like you have to see every place on the tourist trail. Pick a few and give them the attention they deserve. The rest of the time you do what feels right – or nothing at all.

keep it simple

As you slow down, even the simplest activity gets a deep resonance. This is especially true with children. I’ve done many memorable things with my son during our travels. But my highlight are the hours we spent fooling around in swimming pools.

Meet the locals

Carl talks about the importance of getting to know the locals. He says he's on a first-name basis with the staff of a wine bar in Paris (above)

Carl talks about the importance of getting to know the locals. He says he’s on a first-name basis with the staff of a wine bar in Paris (above)

Making friends with people from other cultures is the lifeblood of travel. Take your kids to a playground so they can make friends. Eat breakfast in the same cafe every morning and meet the waiters and regulars. There is a small wine bar in Paris where (almost) everyone knows my name.

keep it simple

As you slow down, even the simplest activity gets a deep resonance. This is especially true with children. I’ve done many memorable things with my son during our travels. But my highlight are the hours we spent fooling around in swimming pools.

Find yourself

The sweetness of doing nothing: Pictured is Altiplano, Bolivia, where Carl experienced a life-changing moment

The sweetness of doing nothing: Pictured is Altiplano, Bolivia, where Carl experienced a life-changing moment

A slow journey offers an escape from the daily grind and is the perfect moment to take stock, reflect on life and contemplate the next steps. While hiking in the sun-kissed scrubland of Bolivia’s Altiplano, I had a revelation about my future. A week later I returned home and changed my life.

Tread lightly

Slow travel goes hand in hand with saving the planet. Use cleaner modes of transportation. Buy local. Consume wisely.

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Andrew Kugle

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