Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of travel. I believe that travel can open your mind to other cultures and people. To explore a territory that is new to you and understand the issues that affects that country and it’s people. To make new friends and discover more about myself that I wouldn’t at home. The best way for me to experience this was through slow travel.
I used to go on A LOT of school trips across the island. In fact, I ended up travelling to all 14 parishes in Jamaica TWICE long before actually turning 14 years old. I wanted to see every corner (which I never did) of the island at least once. The worst thing about trips is that it’s usually a short period of time. This compels you to want to do and see everything. Which is why so many of us feel tired after coming back or like you didn’t get much out of the trip.
What is slow travel?
Rather than attempting to squeeze every single sight into a trip, a slow traveler takes his or her time to explore the culture and the sights one by one. So what is slow travel? Each traveler has their own definition of it. But I define it as taking a slower pace, assimilating into each culture, getting deeper into a country or region that you wouldn’t experience as a typical tourist and getting that feeling of what it feels like to live there.
The latter being one of the most important aspect of travel for me. What would it feel like if I resided here? Is it that I love about this area? Do I hate? How do I feel about it? These are the questions I tend to ask myself wherever I go. I’ve always been an adaptive person, which is why slow travelling makes sense to me.
If I were to define what an ideal slow travel trip would be, I could say something like spending two weeks in Costa Rica exploring the rainforest seeing all the plants, animals and taking a photo tour. The main focus of that trip isn’t to quickly get through the rainforest so I can move on to something else. It’s to get there and see where the journey leads me starting in the rainforest.
This is just my idea of slow travel. This can be hard on a short trip but not impossible. Sometimes picking an aspect of an area to visit will give you incentive to return someday and see what else you can discover. Besides, isn’t that what travel is all about? Discovering new places you’ve never been before? It doesn’t matter how many people have been there or how many times it’s been photographed, there’s nothing compared to the feeling of going to a foreign place and discovering something spectacular.