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Slow Travel

Slow Travel

Do you know these Asian travel groups that attack a place like locusts? Out of the bus, photo left, photo right, hush, quickly back in the bus and gone again!

If you want to make Europe in ten days, you'd better have a top optimized time and flight schedule. Enjoying, arriving, empathizing is not in there. What remains is the reassuring feeling of having seen everything important.

Is this not your idea of travelling? You want to immerse yourself in other worlds and not transfer the stress of everyday life to your holiday? Then you should definitely get to know the concept of slow travel! There are no fixed rules for this decelerated way of travelling, but there are endless possibilities.

May the road less paved be the road that you follow.
 (Song line from Jason Mraz - Have it all)

They all have one thing in common: they all go back to the original idea of being a traveller instead of a consumer or tourist. Travellers venture into unfamiliar terrain and master unfamiliar situations. They travel through India by train, get in touch with locals and follow their tips or let the adventure begin right at their front door.

This does not always go as smoothly as on a package tour. But it is much more intense and healthier for our planet. To paraphrase Dan Kieran, the hero of slow travel, slow travel is not about speed and distance - it's about reflection and depth. You come closer to yourself in the process. The way you perceive and interpret the world changes completely.

Slow Travel reduces your CO2 footprint.

Flying is great. A few hours above the clouds and you are already in the warmth. But there is a dark side to all this. Did you know that flying is pretty much the most harmful thing to nature that a person can do legally? A flight to New York and back pollutes the atmosphere with 4 tons of CO2 per person. As comparison: 2.7 tons of CO2 is the amount that a human being should cause per year (!) according to climate researchers, if we still want to save the earth (source: Jens Förster: Was das haben mit dem Sein macht). Slow Travellers move on their own two legs or choose low-emission means of transport whenever possible.

This is how slow travel works.

The good thing is, it doesn't take you long to do it. Even in one week of Easter holiday you can practice Slow Travel. Here are a few suggestions to suit your time budget.

1. I don't have much time, but I want to try it out

  • No sightseeing: You are on the road and have some free time for an experiment? Then leave (at least for one day) your travel guide in your hotel, don't check travel blogs, Instagram or Facebook groups. Today you decide what is a must see. For that you can simply trust your intuition and follow your nose. Be curious and talk to the people on the street. Where does this door lead to? How far can you see from this hill? Find out!
  • Start from home: Slow Travel starts right in front of your front door. There must be woods, chapels, places in your area that you've only seen through the car window. Even in your own city, even in your own neighborhood, there is a lot to discover. For a fresh view it helps to look at everything through the eyes of a stranger, a child or even an alien. Allow yourself to be amazed and perceive the seemingly boring familiar as a great adventure.

2. I have a little more time and desire to be a true travellerhr Zeit und Lust, ein wahrer Reisender zu sein.

  • Train instead of flight: Replace all flights within Germany and those to nearby foreign countries with slower means of transport: train, bus, bicycle... Enjoy the landscape as it flies by and watch how it slowly changes. You see something interesting? Time for a stopover. Remember, it's not about getting somewhere quickly. The path is the destination. You are already on your journey as soon as you leave home.
  • On the spot, slow down: Your destination is Bali and that's where you have to fly to? No problem. You can also slow down at your destination. Who says that the trip was only a success if you have seen the highlights in every corner of the country? Most of the time a region has everything you need for unforgettable moments. Take a close look. Take your time. Spend an afternoon in the village pub, take the regional bus and go to places that aren't in the guidebook. Your own discoveries will provide you with pure endorphins and make you happier than any tourist hot spot.
For more inspiration on the subject, check out Slow Travel - The Art of Travel by Dan Kieran.