Slow Travel: Why Less Is More
How often have you embarked on a trip with a jam-packed itinerary? You wake up early (jet-lagged), down an espresso, jump from museum to landmark to restaurant to boat to bar. And that’s just day one. You think to yourself: I set aside all of this time and money, so I need to make the most of my trip. But by the time you get home, it feels like you need a vacation from your vacation. Sound familiar?
“Slow travel” is the antidote to this bucket list travel mindset.
The Meaning of Slow Travel
At All Roads North, we believe that “less is more”– if you slow down and soak in a destination, you’ll walk away with a much deeper and more meaningful experience. It means pairing research and scheduling with the space to wander.
Slow travel doesn’t mean boring travel. If the definition of adventure is “an unusual, exciting experience, especially in an unknown territory,” then the core virtues of slow travel best place you to achieve a true adventure. Slow travel is achieved when curiosity and intentionality are at the helm.
How to Take a “Slow Travel” Trip
The first step to achieve slow travel on your next journey is to limit the number of destinations you include in a trip. Budget a generous amount of time to explore each locale on a multi-destination trip, or just focus on one particular area and save other stops for next time.
When it comes to the Great American road trip, we often see people wanting to embark on ambitious cross country trips in as little as a week. Depending on the time available for the trip, we often encourage people to rather focus on one region of the United States for the most impactful trip. For example, instead of a journey along the entire East Coast, focus solely on the Lowcountry or New England. You could spend months in either of these regions uncovering layers of historical intrigue, natural beauty and modern culture.
Take a Slow Pace… Literally
The second step is to slow down the pace of your trip in the literal sense. Try walking to your dinner reservation instead of taking an Uber. Allow enough time for your walk so you can meander into a shop or peek into a bar. Utilize the slow and steady pace of a pack trip to explore the mountains. Enjoy an unhurried paddle by kayak through the swamps of the Georgia coast.
Road trips are the perfect medium to slow down your trip. They allow you to take the scenic route and to make unexpected stops in between destinations. Road trips make the old adage come true: “Life is about the journey, not the destination.”
Finally, bring intentionality and curiosity to your scheduled activities. Whether it’s learning from a wolf biologist on a Yellowstone private safari, setting out to sea with fishermen to catch your own lobsters in Maine, or learning about sustainable farming cycles at a small, family-run winery in Sonoma– it pays off to get a real taste of local life from the experts. These enriching experiences create the foundation of All Roads North trips. Because we know that it’s the people that make any destination truly special.