Slow travel has been booming around the world in recent years, and it’s only going to get more popular as people continue travelling for mental health, spiritual well-being, and inner peace. We are all becoming more mindful of the world around us, and many have already realised the kind of damage that traditional travel can cause to the environment. If you want to make the biggest social impact with your money while you’re travelling, though, you will put it towards sustainability, supporting the local community, and giving yourself the spiritual experiences you deserve.
You can choose to travel quickly from one destination to the other, never really experiencing everything that it has to offer, or you can choose to slow things down, and give back as much as possible during your travels. The point of slow travel is not to hold you back, it’s to allow you to experience your surroundings, the local culture and history, and the natural world around you – all in a sustainable and mindful way.
With that in mind, here are the five tips that will help you master the art of slow and mindful travel in 2021.
Travelling for spiritual and mental health
What is the goal of your travels? When you dream of visiting faraway destinations, are you excited about seeing the sights and the urban foodie scene, or are you looking to find inner peace and balance? There are no wrong answers to these questions, it’s just a matter of shifting your priorities and adopting a new mindset in order to make your travels as rejuvenating and restorative as possible. In the post-COVID-19 world, this will be very important if you want to nurture your mental health.
While the bustling cities are still risky to travel to, the secluded natural destinations and alternative stays are definitely safe and offer various opportunities for rest and relaxation. Slow travel makes you prioritize those destinations where life moves just a tad slower than the rest of the world, where you can unwind and practice your healthy habits like yoga and mindful meditation in peace.
Choosing to travel more sustainably
Sustainability is a big part of slow and mindful travel, because we can’t explore the world around us in a mindful way if we choose to ignore the impact that global travel has on the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently giving sustainable travel a big boost around the world, and we can already see the positive effects of reduced pollution, devastation, and less waste.
This is because the pandemic is encouraging us to travel locally instead of flying to faraway destinations. If you can choose to take a train ride to your destination instead of flying, then do it. If you can choose to cycle when exploring your destination instead of renting a car or taking a cab, do it. These small changes in the way you travel will make a big impact, and if we all do it together, we can help save the planet.
Getting to know the local community
Slow and mindful travel is all about taking the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, and really experience all that the destination has to offer. When travelling to the Mediterranean, for example, you don’t just want to sail from one seaside city to the next, you also want to visit the hidden natural gems and the national parks, and those secluded locations known to the locals but not the rest of the world.
Travelling by sea is definitely one of the best ways to experience the Med, and by booking a crewed Mediterranean yacht charter you can sail to those destinations where there aren’t many tourists, and where you can stay longer to soak in the local way of life. You can apply this mindset to any destination, with an emphasis on taking things slowly and taking your time to get to know the world around you.
Minimising waste by choosing green accommodation
Wherever your travels take you, you want to make sure that you’re choosing green accommodation and adhering to sustainable lifestyle habits while you’re there. If you’re staying somewhere up in the mountains, you want to preserve the natural surroundings as much as possible, explore your surroundings by walking instead of driving, and lower your carbon footprint by packing green and unplugging from your devices. This will not only benefit the environment, but it will do wonders for your spiritual and mental health.
Choosing the tranquil nature over the bustling cities
As you might have guessed by now, slow travel is mostly focused on natural exploration rather than urban adventures. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t apply this mindset to your urban escapades as well. However, when you do choose to visit the bustling cities, you should try to apply all of the concepts we talked about today, and choose to support small local businesses.
Make sure to find sustainable brands that focus on equality and fair trade, and stick to eco-friendly and sustainable practices across the board.
Over to you
Slow and mindful travel is not only good for the mind and the soul, it’s also good for the environment and the people around you. Do yourself and the world a big favor this year by choosing to travel more slowly and focus on the things that will bring you inner peace and health while making the world a better place.
AUTHOR BIO: Sophia Smith is a lifestyle blogger, foodie and travel enthusiast. She is very passionate about eco-friendly and green topics, sustainable fashion, eco beauty, and conscious business. Sophia’s other hobbies centre around her love for yoga, wellness rituals and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that inspires people and has covered topics ranging from organic products and sustainability to self-care and mental health.
Sophia has contributed to a number of publications including Eco Warrior Princess, Stay at Base, The Travelling Souk, Sivana Spirit, True Nature Travels, Yoga Trade, Sivana Spirit, Urban Naturale, Carousel, and Cause Artist.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on: Twitter (@sophia_bri)