For a lot us, when we hear the word travel we automatically think of far away; of flights and suitcases and tropical destinations far from our own reality. Travel doesn't just have to mean this though, at Tasi we advocate for slow, local travel too.
On big overseas trips we often return home more exhausted than before we left. If we're spending a lot of money to travel somewhere new, naturally we're going to want to pack as much into our time there as possible. But if our lives are frantic at home, wouldn't we be looking for the opposite in our time off?
Slow travel is an idea that is rapidly increasing in popularity, similar to the slow food movement. Rather than attempting to cram as many activities, sights and cities into one trip, a slow traveller will take the time to really explore each place more deeply. They will experience the local culture, get to know the local people and be able to authentically experience what life is like there. There's less emphasis on sight-seeing and more on simply being present and getting to know one small area well, rather than only seeing tiny bits of many places.
One of the key differentiations with slow travel is the opportunity to truly become part of local life and to connect to a place, community and culture. Slow travel could mean renting a cottage for a week and exploring on foot, or it could mean travelling in a van and taking your time to stop and explore. Slow travel will look different for each of us, but no matter how you do it, the key is to slow down and really make the most of every moment of your travel.
Slow travel also sees a big focus on travelling local. Travel doesn't always need to mean far away, especially living somewhere as vast and with as unique landscapes as Australia, there is so much to see and experience close to home as well. When was the last time you packed the car, pulled out a map (or ditched the map completely), and headed off, no destination in mind? It's a pretty amazing feeling to not have anywhere to be, to turn off down a dirt road last minute, to pull up to a remote beach and cook dinner by the water. When we travel slowly, mindfully, without a plan, we open ourselves up to amazing people and experiences that may not have come our way otherwise.
Happy (slow) travels!