Some people like dashing around, visiting as many destinations in one trip as possible. But travel is about more than just ticking boxes of sights, snapping a selfie and moving to the next place.
Welcome to the world of slow travel, where you really take the time it know the place you’re traveling. The slow travel movement is all about connecting with locals, exploring wonderful nature and losing yourself in fascinating cities.
It is about taking some time for you, cherishing each experience and returning home the richer for your adventures. If you’re thinking about a slow travel adventure, perhaps even a trip of 30 days or more – these are the destinations you should be considering.
Nepal is for trekkers
Home to the Himalayas, Nepal just begs to be explored the slow way. Flights in the mountains can be dangerous so the best way to travel is on long, colorful bus journeys, where you can often be the only foreigner. When you finally hop off, amazing trekking routes await, wending their way high into the mountains, where you’ll have no phone signal and spend your evenings sat around the fire in traditional tea houses to keep warm, sharing traditional dal bhat curry.
You’ll never feel more alive than when you finally conquer that mountain, pausing at the peak, Buddhist prayer flags blowing in the wind and endless mountains unfolding as far as the eye can see.
Australia is for road trip lovers
In all its vastness, Australia seems to demand you travel the slow way. Forget criss-crossing the country on endless flights, pack up a camper van and head out to discover the country beyond the coastal cities.
The landscapes are truly awe-inspiring, from dramatic coastal clifftops to ancient rainforests, endless stretches of outback and bizarre rock formations that don’t look like they could ever have been created by nature.
There are plenty of driving routes to choose from as well, how about the Pacific Coast Route from Melbourne? Or the Epicurean Way, wending its way around the famous wine valleys outside Adelaide? On the road in Western Australia you’ll often feel like the last people left on Earth, after all Perth is considered one of the most remote cities of its size in the world.
Chile is for outdoor enthusiasts
The long, narrow country clinging on to the west coast of South America is a fantastic place for a slow travel adventure. Chile is so vast that it is topped by the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, edged by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east, culminating in the icy stretch of Patagonia in the south.
The scenery is breath-taking at every turn and some of the best ways to explore are on foot, by bike and even on horseback, just like the gauchos used to do. Head south and you can take the slow boat through fjords and between islands, spotting whales, sea lions and penguins and blissfully losing phone signal as you venture further away from civilization.
Vietnam is for adventure-seekers
A country of lush scenery and endless rice paddies, of the haunting limestone karsts that dot Halong Bay and the frenetic cities of Hi Chi Minh and Hanoi, there is something for everyone in Vietnam, so it’s worth exploring at a leisurely pace.
Why not enjoy a taste of rural life and hop on the slow boat down the mighty Mekong River? You can even combine Vietnam with Cambodia in one trip. This way you’ll glide past the most beautiful scenery, stop off in beautiful little villages where traditions have remained unchanged for generations and discover places that are almost impossible to reach by road. Buddhist stupas, robed monks and oxen ploughing fields will give you a taste of a different pace of life.
Morocco is for gorgeous asthetics
Often associated with its richly colorful and bustling city of Marrakech, Morocco has so much more to offer the slow traveler. Think the Atlas Mountains, where you can hike dazzling peaks, the undulating dunes of the Sahara Desert and the long coastline lapped by sapphire-blue seas.
As you explore the country you’ll find goats that climb into trees to eat the fruit, ancient desert forts and multicolored mosques. Locals weave detailed, many-hued carpets, you can stroll out into the vast expanse of desert on a camel and find out how the nomadic Berber once wandered these empty lands. If you are looking for an Arabian Night adventure, you’ve just found it.
Go slow and travel the world the best way
Seeing the world is a magical thing to do and we all deserve a little time so we can discover destinations we’ve always dreamed about. Who knows? If you spend long enough in a country, you may just want to up sticks and move overseas for good. The beauty of slow travel is that it is all about savoring experiences, about having the time to be spontaneous, enjoying every moment and really getting under the skin of a country. So next time you think about traveling, give slow travel a try.
Have you ever been away from ‘home’ for more than a month? Where would you go for a ‘slow travel’ experience?