"We wanted to do this so we could really get to know the culture, the food and the people."
Two years ago when we set off on our year long trip to Asia, we decided beforehand not cram too much in. We didn't want to be the type of traveller that only stays in one place for a day or two doing a whistle stop tour of each country, just ticking them off. We had made the decision from the outset that we wanted to stay in one place for a longtime, not one country but actually one town or village. We wanted to do this so we could really get to know the culture, the food and the people. Also we realised that moving around a lot would cost more money. At times we would stay in one place for at least a month. Only when we returned home did we find out that this type of travel is named slow travel. So now we are back on the road and we are moving in slow motion. This time staying in one place for six months.
So what are the benefits of slow travel?
1. You will be able to negotiate cheaper accommodation prices
2. You are not moving around so you spend a lot less on travel
3. You will have more time to enjoy the place you are visiting
4. You will get to seek out the best and cheap places to eat
5. You will get to immerse yourself in the culture and community, forming a stronger connection with a place
6. You will get to unpack! This seems trivial but all travellers will appreciate this fact
7. Friends and family get the chance to come visit you
8. It's better for the environment as your carbon footprint will be smaller
9. You get more time to learn the language
10. It's better for your mind and body. We all rush around far too much at home, so why do it on your trip. You are supposed to be escaping the hectic lifestyle you lead not taking it with you in your backpack
Travelling really does not need to be expensive. Last month we spent £150 each. That included everything, food, travel, accommodation etc. At home I would spend that just getting to work and back for a month. Some people would spend that on a night out, but we spent that enjoying ourselves in the sun and doing whatever we wanted! So what are you waiting for? It's time to to make the most of each moment, give yourself chance to switch off. That's what travelling is about after all.