This concept is not new though it has always appealed to us and to many of you.
A while back, I read a book by Penny Watson called Slow Travel, showcasing enticing places in the world. More importantly, it outlines the benefits of connecting with people and nature, stories from other slow travellers. These companies offer slow travel experiences and ways to travel slowly, i.e. train, bicycling, canoeing, walking.
How can we practice slowing down when we aren’t travelling overseas?
Firstly, slow travel is about resetting, it’s about connecting to yourself, others and nature, it’s about being present and open to life, magnifying joy and of course slowing down.
Life in the modern world seems for many to be extremely busy. Perversely there appears to be a particular pride in rushing through our daily lives, in being “crazy busy”. But are we really coping? Mental health and anxiety are on the rise, and we are more disconnected from nature than ever.
Have you ever come back from a holiday and said: “I need a holiday from my holiday!” Once an upon a time that used to be our mantra. Nowadays, we live a relatively quieter life and have even included camping in our repertoire. A favourite haunt for doing this is in the Coromandel. That trip really got us away from it all with bush and beach walks. We really got into simple pleasures and slow living, and we came home feeling relaxed and refreshed. Having said that we haven’t ventured away in the tent since then. Funny, how things work out!
Now we get to the nitty-gritty of creating “mini” adventures and just slowing down.
Essentials for slow “mini” adventures:
A curious mind.
The courage to slow down and breathe.
A willingness to create/set aside some time. The recommended minimum time is half an hour,
If you like to capture those special moments then take your camera.
Try putting your phone on silent.
A paper map.
A picnic- Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand
A pad and pen.
Here are some slow “mini” adventures suggestions to try:
Walking in nature with your lovely self or others. Modern terminology for this activity is “forest bathing”.
On the water activities such as boats without engines or for the more adventurous paddleboarding.
Walking up a mountain just because you can, and you love a good view.
A cycle ride around the many trails in your community.
Go tramping [hiking]
Go camping for the weekend.
If it’s wet, build an inside tent just for your furry family member.
Walk to a local park or beach and have a picnic.
Spend some time with a child as they are amazing at finding creative ways to explore.
Yoga or mediation class.
A leisurely slow-cooked meal during the weekend.
Get a blanket and do some stargazing.
To get you in the mood–
- Read Slow Travel by Penny Watson, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, Wreck this book by Keri Smith.
- Watch: Eat, Pray, Love [movie]
- Listen: WOMAD compilations on Spotify, Happy Place podcast by Fearne Cotton, Wild Ideas Worth Living podcast, The Slow Home podcast
It’s just about re-connecting with nature and realising that we are all interconnected and not separate. Slow adventuring in your “backyard” is a great place to start.