One of the toughest decisions when planning a trip is deciding whether to get to know one or two areas extensively, or pack in as much as you can at a rapid pace. As someone who has taken both types of trips, I can appreciate the benefits of each. It all depends on your travel philosophy and what you want to get out of your trip.
The Benefits Of Slow Travel
If you’re unsure of what slow travel is, it’s traveling slowly both in pace and in your mindset. This type of traveling involves taking your time to really appreciate your surroundings. The thinking is that you would rather get to know one place fully than more places a little bit. When you slow travel, you get a more in-depth knowledge about the culture. And for many people, gaining a broad understanding of a place and its inner-workings is more meaningful than seeing extra cities.
This thought occurred to me recently when I was at a BBQ with a friend of mine who has lived in various cities all over the world teaching English. When another attendee who was the same age as my companion began rattling off the over 150 countries he’d visited, my friend turned to me with a sad expression and said, “He’s traveled everywhere and I’ve only been to a handful of places.”
Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side, and I had to explain to him that this person probably visited so many countries because he stayed in every city for a few nights, learning only surface information about the food, customs, language and daily rituals of the people.