Why and How To Travel Slow
Spending a day or two to explore a destination is pointless. It’s difficult enough to meet locals and get to know a culture during a long trip. You scramble to try and eat in the best restaurants, and shop at the cutest stores, and stay at the nicest hotel, only to leave with nothing but more clothes, less money, and the same old perspective. Or you might try and cram everything on a budget and stay at a crappy hotel, spend nothing, and see nothing but monuments.
Slow down, relax at home, get with the routine of the locals, and just go with the flow.
Why You Should Travel Slow:
- Get to know people
- Understand the culture
- Explore the surrounding areas
- Save money
How to travel slow:
Stay in Apartments and Extend Your Stay
What I did: I stayed in an apartment in Paris with a couple through Airbnb. They were super helpful and gave me suggestions on where to hear some good jazz. They also lived in a typical Parisian building, I woke up to a view of a charming(dirty) view of the buildings courtyard.
Cook Your Own Food
Head to the local market and grab some fresh produce from the area and cook it at home. Try out what its like to eat from there. A good way to find out how to get to these places is if you are staying at an Airbnb apartment with a present host, they can fill you in on all this info.
What I did: I don’t usually cook, but growing up traveling with parents and 6 kids, we ate at home a lot. My mother would usually get us fresh pasta and cheese from little local markets in Italy. She got to experiment with all the fresh ingredients she could get her hands on.
Sports and exercise
Whether it was running or fishing, you’ll be able to rub shoulders with locals, they’re usually the ones exercising. Its a good way to make friends.
What I did: In a little town in Toscana, I tried some surfing, got to know the instructor through the lesson who ended up filling me in on lots of things to do in the area and where to get all that information.
Try to attend small events
This is a tough one. Attending little events like book launches, local festivals and parties, or a little music event. You’ll get to meet a few people and have a better understanding of the culture again.
What I did: During my semester abroad in Rome, I attended a few events, one of them a little aperitif party held at the MAXXI museum, that was a great event with like minded people.
Bikes are a great mode of transportation, it’ll save you money and take you around quicker. Rent one from a shop nearby or some cities now offer bikes to share.