Work, overtime, additional activities, housework. And when you have an opportunity to go on long yearned vacations, you often do it at your current pace of life. You race against time to explore, see and feel as much as possible, and then come back home tired of the vacation rush. Did you rest well? Not at all…
Surprisingly, there is no shortage of followers of slow travel, which opposes sprinting tourism and reminds you that traveling is not only about visiting the most important places in the shortest possible time.
According to one of many definitions, slow travel is simply a way of thinking that encourages integration with the environment around us and being open to new experiences. It is not so much a way of unhurried transport, but rather an attitude or a state of mind.
Away from the city hustle and bustle
And although the term slow travel is still relatively new in Poland, many of us have often had the opportunity to experience this form of recreation, choosing i.e. agritourism. More and more often, we dream of changing an overcrowded bustling hotel and everyday group walks on well-known routes to a highland hut away from the city noise, tasting real sheep cheese prepared by our host and unhurriedly follow a mountain trail known only to the locals.
It is not surprising that agritourism farms in Poland appear in places that are unknown to books or online guides, yet they are characterized by the magic that can be only envied by the commercial points on the map that have long been stripped of any mysticism. Doesn’t a week in the mysterious Lower Silesia land of extinct volcanoes sound better than the daily grind of trying to pierce through the crowd on Krupówki? More and more people are becoming convinced that this is the case.
By plane or on the back of a donkey?
But does a slow-style travel mean a compulsory circumvention of tourist attractions? Not necessarily. It all depends on the way of thinking. How great is the difference between an optional trip from Burgas to Sozopol and then to the mouth of the Ropotamo river with a guide who checks the time with a stopwatch, from stashing in one of the nearby villages, morning cruises with fishermen, sunrises on wild beaches and delicious mussels cooked in a small pot by the sea by the residents…
Many books take slow travel too literally, suggesting that we should aim at the goal slowly. The authors even give an example of traveling on the back of a donkey. Nothing more wrong. It has nothing to do with the speed, it is about the approach to the visited country or place.
Search off track
Or maybe it is worth landing in Helsinki? From there, it is just a step to the land of a thousand lakes and thick forests, where you can commune with nature, regenerate in forest saunas and at nights admire the polar aurora or unusual silvery clouds. Another unhurried adventure can also be a vacation in the pool of two famous straits: Skagerrak and Kattegat.
In that case, let’s choose a flight to Copenhagen, Gothenburg or Oslo, and from there head towards the romantic fishing villages on the coast once inhabited by brave Vikings. If, in turn, you would like to hide in the land of Norwegian fjords, let’s start this adventure landing in Bergen, Stavanger or Trondheim.
Plan as little as possible
Slow-style travel allows us to stay in one place longer. You have time to look around, feel the atmosphere of the place and meet the inhabitants. This kind of travelling allows, for example, Couchsurfing – an initiative that allows you to not only the use of someone’s couch, but also become acquaintances with the hosts. When flying to Paris, you do not need to plan each point on your route or check on the map whether you have visited the most important attractions.
Doesn’t it sound more interesting to spend time in the company of city residents and look at the capital of France from their perspective? Another way of travelling in slow style can be volunteering. Contrary to appearances, such travel does not require a three-month vacation. Many non-governmental organizations such as Love Lions Alive Sanctuary or WWOOF offer interesting opportunities if you have limited time and would like to get to know the country from the inside.
Wherever you are…
Whatever destination you choose, your attitude is important. It is worth remembering that the essence of traveling is learning about the world and people. By slowing down the pace, you will find out more, you will establish new friendships and rest like never before. Slow travel can be an adventure of a lifetime!