5 Perks of Slow Travel
For many of us, hitting the road carries with it the expectations of soaking in the scenery and countless days of breathing in the delicious scent of our morning coffee as we stare out onto a beautiful sunrise vista. There’s no plan…there doesn’t need to be one! We’re here to live in the moment and watch the day unfold in this new place as we giddily hop and skip into adventure after adventure in each quaint little town or bustling city we find ourselves in. The truth is often far from these expectations. Even when you’ve chosen to live life on the road full-time.
After spending six years combined living tiny, both stationary (based in one area for several months to a year) and traveling from place to place for work, my partner and I have discovered the beauty of Slow Travel and the benefits of this intentional and ethical travel trend. After several months over the summer traveling across nine states tied to what I would call a medium-fast paced schedule, it’s pretty clear to us that we are solidly in the ‘Slow Travel’ camp.
So what is ‘Slow Travel’?
Slow travel is a mindset that rejects traditional ideas of tourism and encourages you to soak in your environments and keep yourself open to new experiences. — The Art of Slow Travel
That’s it in a nutshell. Slow Travel is definitely a mindset and one worthy of adopting as you plan your next road trip or set out to begin your
tiny life journey on the road full-time!
Slow Travel is about the journey as much as it is about the destination! It doesn’t require months on end in one location or that you move at a snail’s pace through your travel itinerary. It not only opens you up to unexpected opportunities and connections, it can also foster a greater sense of well-being so that you don’t end up needing a vacation from your vacation, or a vacation from this dream life on the road that you’ve created!
Below is a list of 5 perks of Slow Travel that my partner and I have learned from our own experiences of traveling full-time.
1. Slow Travel Is More Conducive to Maintaining Set Work Schedules And Routines
If you’re going to be on the road and traveling full time (and are not lucky enough to be independently wealthy or have limitless funds), chances are you’ll need to keep certain hours for some sort of remote work. Keeping these set hours can be tough when you’re spending no more than a couple days in each place with hours of driving in between towns. Days begin to bleed into one another. And between breaking down “camp”, driving to the next place, and setting up “camp” you’ve lost the entire day and are so exhausted that the last thing you have energy or brain space for is getting to work let alone some desperately needed self care!
Giving yourself more time between travel days to be in one place or relative area has the added benefit of not just having more days to sight see, but it also allows you to settle into a rhythm. Keeping work hours and self care regimens in place is much easier if the day is not stolen away from them by simply moving from one place to another.
2. Slow Travel Is Intentional And Immersive
For me, there's nothing sadder than traveling through a place in such a hurry that you end up having learned nothing about it’s people or it’s culture. Too often we see the sights, take the obligatory Instagram selfie, and move on to the next sight or town without ever stopping to take in or truly experience a place.
When I think about what excites me about the ability to travel full time, it’s the intentionality that I’m able to have when I plan my itinerary. Destinations are chosen based on what my partner and I love to do rather than the number of Instagrammable tourist attractions a town or city may have.
Prioritizing being able to take our time in a general area, we have more opportunities to interact with the locals and to learn the ins and outs of whatever town we are in. We have more time to find our favorite spots to visit or get work done. We get to know our way around. In a sense, even though we are just traveling through, Slow Travel allows us to become locals ourselves by giving us more time to immerse ourselves in our surroundings and connect with locals on a daily basis.
3. More Time To Explore Local Attractions Without Pressure
It’s all about quality over quantity here. Sure you can google the top five must-see spots in whatever town you’re planning to land in and the odds are pretty high that you’ll be competing for that Instagram selfie with at least a couple dozen other tourists. But you’ve gotta get that box checked off your must-see list so you can say you’ve “been there and done that.” Then it’s off to the next attraction on the list and the cycle continues. With limited time, you’re traveling with ‘the herd’ and cramming it all in with the rest of them.
Slow Travel lets you take in the sights on your own schedule and then some! More often than not, my partner Sage and I, are hitting local attractions on days or times when the crowds are much thinner than they would be on let’s say 2pm on a Saturday. Planning for one fun or interesting attraction each day rather than trying to hit them all in a single day means that we can take our time and even discover things we love that are off the beaten path! Hidden gems abound when you leave yourself time to find them!
4. Travel With The Seasons
In the early months of summer Sage and I found work taking us to Sedona, Arizona. Thankfully it was early enough in the summer to still have some lovely chilly nights by the fire. But sure enough, as the days went by the temps began to rise and we found ourselves tied to Arizona for work in 100° temps! Had we not been tied to the location for work there was no way we would’ve stayed in the southwest for summer! And luckily, our work travels eventually took us much farther north. Allowing us to escape the worst of the heat waves that bore down on much of the western United States in the summer of 2021..
If you’re a remote worker and are living full-time on the road, Slow Travel is an excellent way to travel with the seasons! Hate melting in extreme heat? Spend the summer where it’s cooler! Freeze like a popsicle as soon as the temps dip below 60º F? Spend the fall and winter down south where it’s warmer!
We travel full-time with our two dogs, one of which has a pretty serious heart condition that makes high summer temps particularly dangerous for him. Being able to travel to more ideal climates was a lifesaver for him last summer and a huge relief for me!
5. Adds a Sense of Richness and Leisure To Life On The Road
There is nothing relaxing or leisurely about rushing between work and sightseeing. There is nothing relaxing or leisurely about cramming it all in.
I’m guessing that part of the reason you’re on the road is to relax and find some sort of reprieve from the stresses of a hectic daily work/play schedule. So why on earth would you choose to hurry through your days on the road?
Giving yourself more time to strike the balance between work and play can add a sense of leisure to your daily life that is absolutely worth all the packed itineraries on the planet! Time to find your own rhythm. Time to really soak in the moment no matter what it is you’re doing. No rush. No pressure. I can’t think of anything more anxiety-melting and lushly luxurious than that.
There you have it! The five biggest perks we have found from incorporating a Slow Travel mentality into our daily lives on the road. Are you interested in implementing elements of Slow Travel into your life? We hope so! Hopefully this short list has inspired you to take the slow road as we have!
Let us know how these tips help you along on your tiny life journey! Send us an email, tag @tinyhometours in your IG stories, or comment below to let us know how these tips help and what you’d like to see more of on the blog!
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