What is slow travel? It refers to not visiting seven countries in two weeks. Instead you visit two countries (if that) in seven weeks.
We have all done lightning trips before. We decide to take the four weeks per year we are owed from work as a holiday to another part of the world. For this example, Europe, which is a long way from Australia. So, we only have four weeks of holiday, it is very expensive to get there and what if we never go back? We need to fit in as much as possible!
The first time Tanya went to Europe, back in her late twenties, Tanya and her friends ended up going to London, country England, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, driving through Scotland, and then back into London to then fly back to Perth. All this in four weeks.
Tanya clearly remembers some of the fun they got up. However, they did so much in such a short space of time that the trip went by in a blur and by the time they all got back to Perth they were exhausted and needed another holiday!
Of course, Tanya and the others had to go back to work as they only had four weeks of leave a year. Plus they had spent a fortune in Europe. "Just in case we never go back, we must buy those four pairs of shoes each" type of spending.
For many years, Tanya kept up with this type of binge traveling. Every now and then, almost by accident, she would holiday in one place for a longer period of time. For example, she went to Bali for a combination thirties birthday, two good friends birthdays as well as their wedding festivities! Three weeks in the one spot.
Even though it was a still a very busy three weeks Tanya and her friends stayed in Bali for the entire time in only two locations. That gave them plenty of time to stop and smell the Balinese frangipani flowers. Tanya was able to experience everything Bali had to offer. She was able to keep trying restaurants until she found a favourite restaurant that made the best banana pancakes. She was able to just chill beside the pool for a few hours and not worry that she was wasting time.
Coming back from the Balinese three week adventure and going to work was still tiring. The difference was that the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue were not there. Although we all need more holidays right! Also, the memories of Bali were a lot stronger than the memories of Europe. More time was spent in one place rather than hustling through multiple places trying to stick to a schedule.
Since then, slow travelling has been a very big part of Tanya's life. And now Andrew's. In particular, this trip we are on now. If you could call it a trip. This is now a slow travelling lifestyle.
Since the first of November 2011, we have made our way through Malaysia and Thailand. By the time you read this we will probably be in Laos. Three countries in five months depending on when we finally get around to leaving Thailand. We make multiple stops in each country and each stop lasts for one to four weeks. Sometimes, we make one or two night stops but only to break up lengthy journeys getting between places where we will stop properly.
Stopping for a week or more in a place really helps up experience what a town has to offer. We can still be tourists. We can also just sit back and enjoy the view by the river and not feel bad about sitting around. There is always tomorrow to visit that famous temple anyhow.