Musings

Slow Travelling at HOME

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?

Mount base walk2

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.

Sunrise

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.

Over the bridge

Try putting your phone on silent.

A paper map.

A picnic- Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand

A pad and pen.

Lunch time with a view

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.

Starting the climb

A cycle ride around the many trails in your community.

Go tramping [hiking]

Pack and Boots

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.

Twilight fishing.

Les fishing Auckland Regional Parks.jpg2

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.

Slow Travelling in your own Backyard_edited

47 thoughts on “Slow Travelling at HOME”

  1. Great post, Suz! I can’t wait to slow down, after driving for days and look forward to a primitive campsite in the woods for a few days. Crazy times. As long as we have a home, food, and good health, we are happy. I guess that part hasn’t changed much for us. Now everyone’s priorities are similar. 🙂 Slowing down is important but not always easy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a timely post. We need to take a long slow breath at the moment. Travel always used to be slow. I remember family trips when we had to stop to let the car cool down and us kids played in a stream while dad refilled the radiator. Used up lots of energy and restored peace to the back seat. Electric cars like ours ensure slow travel. We stop about every hour to charge and check out the area while we’re waiting. We’ve found some gems on our travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha at the restored peace in the back seat. Oh yes, I remember those days very vividly 🙂 the hot place was the one in front which was given to the child who experienced car sickness the most. The trips to Gisborne via the gorge would have us all feeling queasy.

      It sounds like you are enjoying your electric car Wendy. Brilliant. Forward-thinking to those that have installed recharging in places.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of slow travel. It’s amazing to see the changes this disease is making. Yesterday, I saw fathers walking with their children. Amazing…lol. Seriously, it’s usually the kids out by themselves, but now either the fathers are going stir crazy and need to get out of the house too, or they are making sure their kids don’t mingle with other kids. I guess the parents are having an enforced slow vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know if this counts as slow travel or not, but I’m really enjoying looking at things on my run route in a large park. Usually it’s trees, squirrels and crows, but last week I saw a woodpecker and this morning a rabbit. I’m not sure where the rabbit came from, because I’ve never seen one there before. I’m looking forward to watching the trees bud and blossom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is now a campaign going on in NZ called #backyourbackyard and that is exactly what you’re doing 🙂 We loved finding squirrels in the UK parks. The woodpeckers were another treat. Rabbits on the other hand are destroying farmland and are a real pest. Enjoy your park runs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think one of the positive consequences of this terrible coronavirus could be that we travel less, and less hectically, and enjoy the local scenery and nature more. So this is a very apposite post Suzanne. Health and safety to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely post Suzanne – it made my heart calmer just reading it and looking at those gorgeous photos. I think we’ve all been sooo caught up in what the Corona virus is taking away from us that we forget to see what still remains – savouring the quiet is one of those things.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Suzanne, What a wonderful list of the essentials. I love walking or hiking and make time for it wherever I am. Cycling is such a freeing activity, too. Thanks for sharing this. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Natalie

      Thanks. Yes, I am really enjoying cycling and just got back from one. Though had to use a polite gesture when one car decided to cut in front of me. I usually only ride on cycle ways/trails now I know why!

      Like

  8. Great post Suzanne. Yes, we push ourselves emotionally and financially to go on big overseas trips and come back home exhausted and often unwell. Slow travel sounds perfect to me. I actually made no plans for overseas travel this year and I am feeling quite smug about it. I will be very content to enjoy my own backyard. Lyn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lyn.
      Many people were caught out including a few family members. Though perhaps booking a cruise when they knew people were getting sick wasn’t the most clever idea they’ve had! I’m glad you chose to stay at home. A very hard lesson for many who have booked holidays. Enjoy exploring around your lovely part of Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Agreed, Suzanne. I love to spend a morning in the Australian bush, fortunately not too hard living on the outskirts of Perth. Also love to sit and gaze at the Indian Ocean, takeaway coffee in hand. Or stroll along the banks of the beautiful Swan River. All so soul-refreshing and they don’t cost a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate, I love Perth and the surrounding areas, from north to south. Then there is the outback another fascinating place. Yes, you do have some wonderful places to refresh your soul.

      Like

    1. Hi Sue, yes the general population and especially the elderly are being over saturated with what to do and not to do.
      If I didn’t have my training I think I would not be so relaxed! Have a good week training 🙂 xx

      Like

    1. Jo, stop hogging the blanket I am alongside you 🙂 Yes, stargazing is very relaxing and I love doing it, though not for a while. Too much light pollution around here. Though the council has now placed lights to face downwards. Perhaps wise to wait for the rain to stop.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, our world seems to have developed into a overly stimulating environment. Even though we live in a small city, our abode is still a reasonably quiet place to be. Ironically living in the country was more noisier with so much horticultural and farming activities. I do love walking around the trails or the beach. Our beaches are never that crowded so peace and quiet is always achievable.

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