Before I begin talking about slow travel, here’s a simple definition I found online :
Slow travel is an approach to travel that emphasizes connection: to local people, cultures, food and music. It relies on the idea that a trip is meant to educate and have an emotional impact, in the present moment and for the future, while remaining sustainable for local communities and the environment.Remote Year Blog
Back then when I was in 11 or 12 standard, I recall telling my friends that I wanted to live in a place, know the people, listen to their stories and eat their local food. I knew travelling was never about ticking places off my list. I hadn’t come across stories about ‘slow travel’ but I knew deep down that was what I craved for at the end of the day.
I just graduated from college. I was sick and tired of the fast paced city life in Mumbai. I thought of moving to the mountains, but then again, I didn’t have means to support myself. So I found a fellowship on waste management in the Himalayas. I applied and actually got in in the first round! By far the best decision I have made. I moved to a small village known as Lohajung, located 1,767km away from Mumbai and 340 km away from Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand. I lived with the locals, conducted cleanups in the villages, ate the their food, and trekked their mountains. I even visited the locals twice after I finished working with the company.
Also check out : Summer after graduation
March 2021 I attended the Pecha Kucha event . Shalom Potnish, a mother and travel writer introduced us to the term ‘slow travel’. However this was the first time I heard of the term, but deep down I already knew what it meant. Shalom was introduced to the ‘Slow Travel’ when she was just 19 y/o where she lived in Spain for 2 months. Her 2 months living in Spain taught her all she needed to know about slow travel from getting to know the locals, eating their local cuisine, partying at the local clubs rather than the tourist ones.
Shalom Potnish was born in a travel agents family, and by profession a travel consultant with Lonely Planets India. With all her lavish travel, she could hardly spend more than 2-3 days to actually get to know about the place. She mentioned how Morocco changed the game for her. She went to a café, ordered some food and began noting down all the flavors and the feelings she felt while she sat their. She said conversations extend time and add details to your stories. I couldn’t agree more. It’s important to slow down and enjoy one thing at a time, rather than just do three things in a hurry and enjoying nothing in the end.