Slow Travel: How to be a Traveller Instead of a Tourist

Slow Travel: How to be a Traveller Instead of a Tourist

Think about your warmest, fondest travel memory. It's probably not of posing for a tourist snap in front of a monument. For most of us, the best memories are formed when we make a connection with a culture and its people. They're the little old Italian man who invited us in for a shot of home-made grappa. The local young people who took us out partying. The cosy family-run restaurant we discovered hidden down an alley.

These connections are crucial to the philosophy of slow travel.

What exactly is slow travel?

Let's imagine the typical concept of tourism. Maybe there's an agenda that skips you around from city to city on a tight schedule. There are boxes to check: The biggest tourist attractions, the must-eat foods, the cliche photo opportunities. There's souvenir shopping and guided tours and hotel rooms.

Now imagine the opposite. Staying in local accommodation, eating where locals eat, getting to know the culture of a place and getting to understand what life there is really like. That's slow travel.

The problem with tourism.

67Travel is the traveler. What we see isn68s like on a Monday morning

79Travelling must not be so much about the physical/geographical change

Another way to slow travel is to carry on your regular activities at a new place in order to really “live” it. For me personally this means doing things like going to the gym, shopping at the local food market, or doing freelance work from a café.

Accommodation wise, home-sharing platforms like AirBNB make living like a local infinitely more accessible. In addition, sites like MealSharing.com and Cookening.com can have you tucking into authentic cuisine at a family dinner table.

143When it's all over

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