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Slow Travel - The art of traveling slowly

Slowly traveling through the Rhine meadows on a carriage ride
Through the Rhine meadows on a carriage ride - the art of traveling slowly

Slow Travel, or the art of slow travel

The term slow travel stands for a trend that more and more travelers are following when planning their vacation. Gone are the days when you scoured the highlights of a country, ticked off your to-do list and then told at home that you “know” a country. Germany in three days, America in two weeks or the whole world in three months - something like that leaves a stale feeling, a feeling of dissatisfaction, the knowledge of having missed something. Well, you have seen places that you know at home from numerous photos, from an infinite number of television documentaries, from travel guides or from stories by well-known friends. Somehow, however, there is always the question of what is hidden behind the facade. Is there anything else to discover around the next corner? What drives them Menschen at which one meets? These are questions that many are increasingly asking themselves.

Monika and Petar on the Magnifique - traveling slowly par excellence
Monika and Petar on the Magnifique

What is Slow Travel?

You return to the “Grand Tour”, trips made for the sake of discovery. Traveling for the sake of traveling - not because of the arrival. Traveling slowly is in. We want to experience our travel destinations. We want to get to know the regional way of life on the one hand, and meet local people on the other. Traveling in the sense of "slow travel" also means immersing yourself in a foreign culture. It is the intensive cooperation with people we meet on the way, as well as the close contact with a way of life that is foreign to us until then.

Embarking on a region requires openness and tolerance, curiosity and sometimes courage to try something new. At the same time, the art of slow travel also provides an incredibly satisfying travel experience that opens our eyes to slow travelers for things, places, and ways of life that were previously hidden from us. As a slow traveler, you take the time to question things, to explore places, to live with the locals.

Morning mood in Muskoka - traveling slowly in beautiful places
Morning mood in Muskoka

What is the art of traveling slowly?

Of course, time is an important factor. It takes time to experience a region intensively. In this sentence alone, everything that makes up Slow Travel is included: on trips, there is ample opportunity to experience a regionally limited location. In our hectic everyday life that's just something we lack. What we are looking for. Which we find only with difficulty. We fly from point A to B. Do not experience the distance anymore. Do not experience what different cultures and ways of life we ​​miss. What constitutes a country, a region. For Slow Travel, the goal is not the reason for traveling, but the path, the close-up and intense experience of being on the move. That's what Slow Travel is all about. There are so many ways to experience the way of traveling slowly. We tried some of them ourselves:

Do not be afraid of houseboats - the swans on the Saone - travel slowly
Do not be afraid of houseboats - the swans on the Saone

  • Slow movement

We have been traveling slowly in recent years on ours Houseboat Travel experienced. For a week we take our time to float on the river without a fixed program. Suddenly you can hear the birds singing in the bushes along the riverbank. We feel the sun on our skin. We see the angler patiently waiting for a fish to bite. The humming of the bees lulls us into a state of rest, allowing us to experience a relaxation that we no longer know in everyday life.

In conversation with the lockkeepers, we learn what life is like on the river. In a small village café we get the recipe of the quiche, which tastes so good for lunch. And the village pastor waved us friendly on our midday stroll through the sleepy village. If we feel like it, we'll dock on the shore, take a dip in the river, or spend a few hours with a good book and a glass of wine on the deck of our boat.

Jause on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Jause on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road

  • Slow Travel by car

Slow Travel is also possible by car - if you take your time. We were last year on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road on the way, one of the most beautiful pass roads through the Austrian Alps. It is a good forty kilometers long, actually a stone's throw. We spent a whole day taking our time: just sitting down in the grass watching a waterfall fall into the valley. On the terrace of a mountain hut a snack with the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains enjoyed - away from the hustle and bustle of the large restaurants, where the bus groups wait for food. Cows watching on the mountain pasture eating grass. And mountain flowers observed in the autumn wind. All this on a panoramic road, famous for its scenic beauty, which attracts thousands of visitors every day. Our slow travel tour was guaranteed to be a different and more intense experience than that of organized bus tourists.

Hiking with alpacas
Petar and me with alpacas

  • Travel slowly on foot

We experienced the experience of slow travel especially intensively during our short hike with the alpacas in Neanderland. It was not us who set the pace but the animals. These were more interested in the fresh green grass along the way than on a long and exhausting trekking tour. They allowed us a particularly impressive experience of beautiful nature in Neanderland.

View of the Inn Valley

  • Observe

Sometimes we drive our Slow Travel experiences to excess: when we take the time to observe the around-us. There are very special places for this: a restaurant that offers us the opportunity to observe passers-by in their everyday life undisturbed while sipping our coffee on the terrace. The balcony of a mountain hut, from which we to follow a thunderstorm on its way through the Inn Valley can. Sitting on a bench in the park and listening to the bees buzzing around the spring flowers. Only a few of these experiences can be planned. You experience it unexpectedly, unexpectedly. And only if you have enough time for them.

Petar learns cooking under the direction of Thomas Hüttl
Petar learns cooking under the direction of Thomas Hüttl

  • Join

Traveling slowly also means taking time for the people you meet on the way and spending time together. This can happen spontaneously during a conversation that takes place in a café or on a train. However, there are also opportunities that allow one to work with them and do things that are commonplace for them: helping a winemaker with the grape harvest; watch a potter and learn how to make his goods; from a star chef to be introduced to the art of gourmet cooking; from a jewelry producer to learn the art of shell grinding, These are all experiences that we have made on our travels through the world and that have made us return home feeling like we have got to know our destination better.

Slow Travel Tips For us, dedicating our time to a country and its people, engaging with them intensively, getting to know their peculiarities, their way of life, their character. Open to new experiences.

We are using this article to John & Marc's Blog Parade on Slow Travel on her blog 1 THING TO DO, There you will find interesting posts on this topic.

Source: own experiences with traveling slowly

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Responses

  1. Sabine
    | Reply

    Nice thoughts on Slow Travel! Exploring an area with a houseboat sounds great. Could imagine that this could also be fun for kids.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Sabine,

      I think it's fun for kids, especially if you take your time on the road and always put on a marina or on the river bank to hike or cycle. So a houseboat tour is certainly interesting for children.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  2. Sabine from Ferngeweht
    | Reply

    Nice examples of slow travel! The houseboat is still on my list. And with road trips I sometimes have to force myself to slow down. Therefore, I prefer to use public transport in far-away countries.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Especially with large and sprawling countries, it is often difficult for us to travel slowly - simply because the distances are too large. But we plan from the outset more time at each location, then we still have the opportunity to look around in the area something.

  3. Shaoshi
    | Reply

    Such a houseboat trip would also suit me. And the hike with the alpacas too!

    What we also like is renting a bike and not having to drive in a tourist group by bus to the nearest attraction, but to discover the track itself, at your own pace. Then the way becomes the destination and not the destination.

    LG
    Shaoshi

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Shaoshi,

      A Hausboottour we can highly recommend. We've done two in the last few years and are thrilled: just drifting, enjoying time, peace and slowness - that's just great. Hiking and biking are usually not our cup of tea, but we liked the hike with alpacas because it forced us to stop every now and then when the animals wanted to eat. This often happened and gave us the opportunity to enjoy the scenery. Slow Travel at its best :).

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  4. Melly
    | Reply

    I also like Slow Travel. Surprisingly, in addition to our individual travels, I was also able to experience guided active trips in a small group, eg when the chef of the house left us the kitchen on a rainy day and we were able to bake cakes according to Norwegian and Swedish recipes.
    We have planned the Großglockner High Alpine Pass in May and will also take our time on the 40km;)

    Best regards
    Melly

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Melly,

      Bake cake after Swedish and Norwegian recipes, I imagine beautiful. We often collect recipes from the road and cook the home again in memory of beautiful travel :).
      I'm looking forward to your report on the Grossglocker High Alpine Road.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  5. Petrina
    | Reply

    So nice ideas, thanks for the great tips! Some of it can be done smoothly at home: sitting on the park bench, talking to strangers, walking ... well, alpacas are not here at hand. ;-)

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Only: It's more fun on the go, Petrina :) And at home I never take the time to do it. We usually have other things to do. What a pity! You should do that much more often.

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