I have been passionate about travelling but never wanted to travel like tourists. I have never enjoyed visiting the major tourist spots, monuments, clubs, museums or the famous cafes.
Going for an off beat hike? Count me in. Going to eat at a local dhaba? I am always up. Looking for sunset spots? Favorite thing to do. Experiences call me instead of checking off the major destinations from my bucket list. For me, relaxing on a vacation is more important than running here and there to visit every possible location.
Fast travel gives me stress. Slow travel transforms me.
What is Slow Travel according to me?
Everyone has a different perception to slow travel. Slow travel for me means connecting to nature, staying at off beat homestays, shopping at the local markets, talking to the locals, trying out the different fruits available at the supermarket, going for hikes on unexplored trails, doing a DIY picnic by the beach or just sleeping by the pool.
My Tips To Travel Slow
A vacation is a time for taking a break from hustle and routine of daily life. If you want to come back rejuvenated from your vacation, try and follow these tips. Trust me, slow travel will shift your perspective in so many ways.
Choose a Less Explored Spot: Instead of visiting Singapore, choose a beach destination in Sri Lanka or instead of visiting Mumbai for a vacation, visit Goa in off season. Find a more tranquil getaway or laidback destination.
Don’t Choose The Famous Travel Agencies: Instead of choosing a travel agency for your trip, plan your vacation from scratch yourself. First of all travel agencies are uselessly expensive. Second, they only take you to main touristy destinations. Third, you have to stick to their schedule.
There is another level of joy in searching about a place, reading about it and then finally visiting it. Read blogs using words like “off beat places to explore in”, then Instagram those locations and see if you actually want to visit it or not. Create a schedule including off beat locations, serene untouched spots and then do leave space for some relaxation in your schedule.
Hire a Bike or Travel on Foot: Spend a day at least cycling around or walking around on foot. Eat at any cafe that catches your eyes. Sit near a lake/river for hours. Talk to locals. Shop at the local market. Eat the street food. Ask the locals about unseen waterfalls, river shores or a farm. Visit those. You don’t know, you might experience unexpected adventures on the way. Don’t rush to eat the included breakfast. Go to the small cafeteria the locals love so much. Take your time to consume. Observe the people around you.
Do Nothing: Pack a book, a notebook and a pen, some snacks and water and spend the entire day at the beach/river shore or by the pool.
Take Off Beat Tours: Many startups have come up that organize off beat tours in local areas that take you to a hidden waterfall, give you a glimpse of local life, make you visit farms and eat farm fresh food. Choose them.
Pack Less: It gives you a sense of freedom. Carry less stuff. Repeat clothes.
Phone Detox: It is very important to unplug to come back feeling rejuvaenated. I usually don’t take any calls, respond to anyone or upload any travel story whole day. Spend half an hour at night once you come back from exploring to do all these tasks.
Click Pictures But Don’t Go Overboard With It: I know everyone wants to create memories and share travel stories on social media but don’t spend your entire time getting that perfect shot. Spending 2-3 minutes on a shot is good enough, if you don’t get that perfect shot, ignore and enjoy the view. Ask the person who is travelling with you to take more candid shots of you instead of posing everytime.
This way you can give yourself the time to really get in tune with their pace, to find out more about their lives, and to truly absorb the atmosphere of the place you stay in, turning your experience to a truly relaxing and de-stressing one.
Do share your tips in the comments section below.