The future of travel: Slow Adventure
The way we travel and see the world is evolving. New flights are making the world smaller with a dazzling array of destinations. We’ve travelled the world the fast way, before we started a slow adventure lifestyle.
The fast way is like taking a plane from Oslo, to then find yourself with a steaming bowl of Ramen in downtown Tokyo 16 hours later. It is fantastic to see the world, learn about new places and grow with each experience. But do we really grow if we don’t take the time to actually connect with a place? We’d like to present an alternative and introduce our world of slow adventure.
How we became more honest travellers
We find traveling fast lacks room to adjust to a new culture. Exit a plane and boom, you’re there. There is no slow adjustment to language, food or people. By the time we’ve managed to get over a stomach bug, figure out the bus timetable and learned a few phrases in a new language, it’s time to leave again – back to the hectic everyday.
Is this the future of traveling? Or should we stand up and realize that honest travel is a challenge. That if we really want to experience a place, we need to go slow. Stay at a place for longer, connect with the people who live there, eat the local food, become introduced to nature and those locals who live in synergy with their surroundings.
Build your slow travel from slow adventures
A slow adventure is where you shift your focus away from time and adrenalin, to honesty and authenticity. In other words: You do not need to move slow, but you need time to connect – with food, with skills, with people, and with place. An adventure does not have to be physically slow for it to slow you down and make you truly connect with a place, and it doesn’t even have to be abroad. Slow adventure can be a means for exploring your own hometown.
Discovering the connection between people and place is an essential part of slow adventure. If you truly want to experience a place, pay attention to the way locals interact with their surroundings. People and place will always make an impression on culture and how we live our lives. A small Scottish town on the west coast will always be connected to the sea. The way you choose to travel can immerse you in this connection between place and people, even if you’re just passing by.
Honesty and authenticity are the key values behind going slow.
Authenticity is about connecting to the place and the people who live there. By understanding more about the local ways and how people have lived in this place, you have the chance to learn something about yourself.
Honesty is about respecting the place, customs, skills or people that inhabit the place. It encourages us to grow in a natural way.
The bigger picture
Action and fast adventures are easy to find, but slow adventure can be harder to find. You often need to do the planning yourself, but the rewards are many: Lasting memories, strong impressions, local experiences and new skills.
We’re stunned at how much better we can reflect over our slow adventure experiences. Strong memories that are still evolving and emerging, influencing our next slow adventure. When strung together, these slow adventures make for a slower lifestyle, influencing how we live at home.
Like life, travel is a journey. Choosing to build it through slow adventure means we break the human habit of compartmentalising everything, and think holistically about what we’re doing and why. Going slowly takes you to tiny corners of the world, home of the deliberately few.
Six simple steps to make your own Slow Adventure
There are many ways to create your version of the perfect slow adventure. The main thing to keep in mind is this: why do you want to start a slow adventure in the first place? Sick of the city? Digital detox? Maybe a few hours with your children at the beach looking for pretty shells and smooth stones will solve it. Or maybe it’s time to wild-camp over a reflective ember or two. Remember your own needs and connect them with the place you’re in.
Our favourites are canoeing, walking, climbing, campfire dinners and fishing. Any way we can source the adventure, or food by our own hands.
1. Visit friends or family
Do you wish to travel abroad? Check with friends and family to see where you already have some connections that can help you. We do this all the time, it makes our travels richer in the form of seeing more friends and family and we experience a lot more than if we decided to travel by ourselves. It is also good to know that your visit means something for the place and people you’re visiting.
2. Practice a hobby
Are you passionate about something? Seek out like minded people in a new place. Do a workshop or a course in something you love and we guarantee you’ll connect with both people and place.
3. Visit local farms
Are you a foodie? Visit a local farm or producer. In Ireland, we visited the organic farm that provided our accommodation with fresh produce and eggs, a huge highlight of our time there!
4. Go local
Leave money in the local community. Eat at local restaurants, use local adventure providers, buy handmade souvenirs and book accommodation directly with locals. Yes it’s a little more work, but it means the world to the place you are visiting. And you might even make a few friends in the process.
5. Don’t overbook
Travel slow, and don’t “overbook” your time from the comforts of your living room. Dare to open your days up to the unforeseen.
6. Give back
Think about your footprint – the impact of your travel. How can the people and place you’re adventuring to benefit from your travel?
We hope you join us in making a beautiful way to travel in 2018, #LetsGoSlow!
We’d be delighted to hear of your slow adventures! Have you experienced a similar transition to ours, slowing down your travels and choosing authenticity over adrenalin? Or do you still prefer to travel fast?