As a family we love to travel and I spend a lot of time reading travel blogs, flicking through travel brochures, and researching the places we would like to go, or are going. Although travelling with four children can be stressful, one thing I am passionate about, on our holidays or breaks away, is to just relax and enjoy the moment, whether that’s in the UK or further afield.
So recently when I found myself reading about Slow Travel, I realised that actually, we were already doing it, albeit unaware! Slow Travel is a way of consciously slowing down and taking in our surroundings, and really learning to appreciate the place you are visiting. It’s something I am sure many of us do, but we just don’t realise that it has become a movement in this way!
Slow Travel is a very broad term which covers just about everything, from the way you travel, the places you go, the activities you do, and the foods you eat. A large part of this has become about travelling in an eco-friendly way which allows for a better understanding of the destination, the points which were listed here in an interesting article I read on Slow Travel.
1. Travel on foot or by bike whenever possible
2. Eat local dishes
3. Open your mind to new experiences.
4. Stay in a local house/apartment and not a hotel.
5. Don’t rush – take your time to explore!
6. Immersively experience a place, don’t just Instagram it.
7. Learn some of the local language.
8. Sit in a cafe and watch the world go by.
9. Embrace the unexpected, not everything needs to be planned.
10. Do as the locals do.
11. Stay away from tourist hot-spots or landmarks.
12. Try to give back to the communities you visit.
I absolutely love these ideas, and feel we embrace the majority already, but the more I read the more I want to encompass them completely. Travelling with children is all about the unexpected and so for parents, we are already part way there! Recently during a trip to the Isle of Man we actively hunted out some of the hidden treasures of the island to find quiet coves to explore and scenic spots to enjoy, away from the main areas.
When we travel abroad we usually eat away from the resort, trying local dishes as often as possible to fully immerse ourselves into the culture of the country we are visiting.
Recently we even downloaded apps to our phones to learn basic Italian for our upcoming visit to Venice, just so we would know the very basics of please, thank you, and good day. I think speaking a countries language is very important, and whilst it would be impossible to be fluent in every language across the world, when you are visiting a country regularly, learning the language is common courtesy.
And lastly, with us living such busy lives, our holidays are all about taking it easy, relaxing, and not rushing. We lie in bed in the morning, we take our time, we eat as and when we want to, we don’t live by the clock, and we enjoy every moment possible. That’s what it’s all about!