Today, the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Sea can be crossed in just a few hours, the top of the highest mountains in the world can be reached in the same day, and even anyone, regardless of their psychophysical training, can pass one night in the polar regions. What would the first settlers think if they saw how some travelers without any knowledge of these regions, move comfortably in an airplane above the clouds, and place themselves with minimal effort in some of the most sacred and relevant natural and cultural spaces in the world?
Thanks to mechanical engineering and technological innovation, the depth of word travel has changed considerably. From the one who moves in search of a better life, to the one in search of a truth or a call, we now find ourselves with a competition to reach the four corners of the planet. Photographing ourselves in these epic places that our ancestors discovered and carved seems a social requirement to feel fulfilled.
This tireless search for the next destination and new experiences that make us feel special and free from commitments, is a common characteristic of travelers in recent decades. Have you sat down at a table and been asked if you have been to a Vietnamese town or to an African volcano? Just as if they were the neighborhoods next to your home?
Interestingly, the limitations imposed during the pandemic added to the increase in ecological awareness. We are questioning this "normality" of traveling on these ephemeral journey to all corners of the planet. A new way of understanding travel, very much in line with travel before the motor and Internet era, is making a comeback: Slow Travel is a way of traveling that seeks connection at all levels. Connection with the local inhabitants, spending time with them, getting to taste their culture, their ways of life, their culinary arts and their musical expressions.
Slow Travel invites us to stop, to sit in the doorway of a traditional house with a glass of wine from the region, enjoy listening to the stories of the villagers, while the vines and stone walls of the house become orange by the sunset . The moment without concrete goals, without rushing to get to planes and trains that are not waiting, is a reason for joy. Living the present moment with awareness and gratitude is the source of health and the reason for celebrating Slow & Mindful Travel.
Many are those who have realized the importance of traveling in this way, values stopping and enjoying the culture and ecological richness of the territories. The approach is totally different from the quick selfies on these quick travels around the world. Slow Traveling enables us to observe the beauty of the moment and enjoy it consciously, without objectives or schedules, and without anxiety to save those moments on our Smartphones.
Always with humor and without wanting to bother anyone, what we want to emphasize here is to be aware of what is driving our trips. What are our priorities behind traveling? What is what really matters to us? What do we really need to feel alive?
Slow & Mindful Travel often goes hand in hand with Sustainable Travel. When we stop, dive deep into the area and act the way the locals do, our footprints becomes meaningful. You stop from being a number to one more agent in the local ecosystem whose impact moves to a relational space. Locals are able to perceive the respect and openness we have when we visit a place, and it has the capacity to leave a profound feeling of pride, interconnection and gratitude. This is why traveling slowly, consciously and respectfully helps preserve culture, ecosystems and relationships.
It is time to be aware of what we optimize when we travel. How do we travel? What type of footprint are we leaving behind? How do we set goals and rate a trip? Are we feeling a place or just consuming it?
Slow-Mindful-Sustainable Travel gives us the opportunity to be more sustainable travelers with the environment, more responsible with its inhabitants and more aware of the privilege that traveling for the love of traveling entails. Are you in for this new trip?