Are you tired of boarding a new flight every weekend? Rushing through scenic spots for a photo op is no longer your cup of tea? Jet lag every Monday is stealing away your productivity?
Why not have a slight change of mindset and adopt the slow travel life instead?
Balancing work and travel can be tricky. If you spend your workdays figuring out the travel arrangements and looking for Airbnbs, your productivity is bound to be negatively affected. Moreover, rushing through touristy areas can prevent you from experiencing the local way of life.
This article discusses what a slow travel life means, how you can become a slomad, and things to consider when adopting slow travel. Let’s dive in!
What Is Slow Travel?
Slow travel, as the name suggests, involves taking things slow and experiencing the local life before moving ahead. Slow travelers believe that “there is always another trip” and refrain from going to all places in a single trip. Instead, they choose to keep their itinerary minimal.
Digital nomadism is all about long-term travel. Ditch the to-do list and embrace the slow-paced travel life. This way, your every journey will be rejuvenating. The slow life will allow you to stay productive during your work hours and enjoy your stay in your home away from home.
Why Is It Popular After The Pandemic?
Post-COVID-19, the world is witnessing a rise in slow tourism. It is no more just about the destination but about understanding local customs, food, and music. Here are a few reasons we think slow tourism is rising after the pandemic.
1. Rise In Remote Work Opportunities
The pandemic significantly changed the way we look at work. While remote work existed before the pandemic, the pandemic showed a way out of location-based constraints within a short time.
The employee-driven shift to remote work had multiple ramifications after the pandemic. Once governments lifted lockdowns, remote workers started looking to travel while at work. Digital nomadism solved the problem of work-leisure balance.
2. COVID Induced Lockdown And Mental Health
COVID-induced nationwide lockdowns wreaked havoc on the minds of people. The wanderlusts amongst us couldn’t wait to get out and enjoy the world. The rise in remote work and the benefits of travel created a whole generation of digital nomads and slow travelers.
3. Culinary And Culture Tourism
Fast-paced travels are all about cramming as many places in one trip. The rise in the interest to explore different cultures and location independence led people to adopt a slower lifestyle. Nomadism allows people to travel at a pace they’re comfortable with. It will enable them to explore and imbibe different cultures and food styles.
4. Awareness Of Climate Change
Studies show that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic heightened concerns about climate change. Slow travel is a sustainable alternative to travel. With decreased time on the road and air, slow travel allows you to reduce your carbon footprint.
How To Slow Travel?
1. Live Like A Local
Ditch the expensive touristy areas and go to the hinterlands. You’ll see locals up close and learn a thing or two about their customs and traditions. This way, you’ll appreciate foreign cultures and better understand your destination.
You can rent a bike or motorcycle to commute to local cafes and restaurants in some places. If a train or metro is an option, use that.
2. Ditch The To-do List
A crowded itinerary is the last thing you need when looking for a balance between work and leisure. When you’re a digital nomad, skip the to-do list or adopt a flexible schedule. This way, you will go to work energized every day.
Remember that the purpose of travel and digital nomadism is to unwind and not to live fatigued and tired.
3. Embrace The Lifestyle
Slow travel is a lifestyle choice. When you’re a slow traveler, it’s not about how fast you can go from point A to B but about experiencing your journey from A to B.
It requires a change in perspective toward travel and life in general.
4. Make Sure You’re prepared
Slow travel can be about challenging your boundaries and getting uncomfortable. But it is also about balancing work with leisure. To stay at work and do your work on time, you should always work in areas with seamless connectivity, have a good laptop and accessories like headsets, microphones and others.
Internet connectivity is vital to stay in the loop and work during the day. You cannot afford to lose a day’s work due to poor internet access.
Why Should You Consider Becoming A Digital Slomad?
Digital nomadism is essentially slow. However, some of us do it wrong by cramming too many things on the to-do list and adopting a fast-paced lifestyle. It can leave us with burnout. Here’s why you should consider slow travel.
1. Balance Between Work And Leisure
Digital nomadism involves blending your vacation with your work. It can become challenging when you’re traveling to a new spot every week and looking for many things to do at once.
However, once you adopt slow travel, you’ll have enough time to explore a place and work there simultaneously. Most importantly, you won’t worry about your next destination and travel arrangements.
How can you do it?
- Ditch the long to-do lists
- Make a flexible schedule that prioritizes work. Remember to finish off all your day’s work before you start exploring the area.
- Remember that you’re on a workation and not a vacation.
2. Make Local Friends
For an extrovert, this can be a walk in the park. But if you’re an introvert, remember that the person across the room is more than looking for a human connection.
When you’re a slow traveler, you tend to find the best cafes in town for working and restaurants to grab a drink at night. While you’re at it, you’ll also make numerous local connections.
Why should you do it?
- Local friends will help you know the cultures and customs better.
- You’ll appreciate foreign cultures better and understand the history behind them.
- Sometimes, local talent can be a good value addition to your line of work. They can help you out with ideas to solve a work-related problem.
- Local cafe/ bar owners can help you beat the loneliness that sometimes comes with long-term travel.
How can you do it?
- Don’t underestimate small talk: Your seemingly inconsequential “How was your day?” might become one of your biggest business deals.
- Maximize your socializing opportunity: Hit the local gym early in the morning or run by the beach. You’ll find like-minded people here to strike up a conversation. Alternatively, your regular coffee shop or bar can also do the trick.
- Eye contact is necessary: Effective eye contact is essential to build trust. Trust is the basis of any relationship.
3. Build Connections
Apart from making local friends, you’ll also come in contact with many fellow digital nomads. If everyone lives a slow life, you’ll have plenty of time to connect and exchange information. You can come across practical ideas that you can use in your day-to-day work. Alternatively, you may meet a potential business partner for your next start-up.
Why should you do it?
- “Network is net worth.” The more people you know, the bigger your social capital. You’ll have better and more innovative ideas and newer approaches to complex tasks. Sometimes, a good connection can help you start a business.
- It can help you beat the loneliness that comes with remote work.
How can you do it?
- Stay in a digital nomad hub/ village like the ones found in Madeira, Portugal, or Pipa, Brazil.
- Try to stay in a hostel. There are higher chances you’ll find fellow digital nomads here. Moreover, hostels can be a cheaper alternative to hotels.
4. Another Step To World Peace
Seems like a stretch? Consider this- slow travel lets you explore local customs and develop an understanding of a foreign way of life. When you move to a new location, you’re considerate and appreciate diversity.
Apart from this, you’d make loads of new friends from different corners of the world. This allows you to talk about other cultures and better understand how everything works away from home.
Why should you do this?
- A perfect world is one without borders. As John Lennon put it, “Imagine there’s no countries…Nothing to kill or die for….”
- An increase in people-to-people contact can help the transnational movement of cultures.
5. Slow Travel Empowers Local Communities
Traveling to a new location can have a ripple effect on the businesses there. Imagine a beachfront in Indonesia that attracts digital nomads from across the world. Soon, this place will have numerous hostels popping up, several cafes to support the lifestyle, and a few restaurants. Local enterprises profit from this newfound interest to travel.
All this when you can still be selfish and travel for your gains.
6. It Boosts Your Travel Budget
Slow travel also translates to spending less on the journey. Moreover, slow travel often involves going to places that are not popular among regular travelers.
How to boost your budget?
- Stay in a hostel or rent an apartment in the lesser-known parts of the town/ city.
- Go grocery shopping and cook your food.
- Explore your place of stay and find out the best places in town for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at reasonable costs.
- Do side hustles.
7. Slow Travel Lets You Recharge
While fast-paced travel can lead to tourist burnout, slow travel keeps you filled with energy throughout. Imagine having a tropical routine for a long stretch of 6 months. You can enjoy your days by the beach, make friends in the local shack and understand local traditions. When you feel recharged, you can move to your following location- this time, a mountain may be.
For most people, travel is fueled by Instagram-worthy photo-ops, setting the course of a cycle of FOMO and fatigue. But if you slowly travel, it will be less about photo ops and more about living in the present.
What Should You Consider When You Slow Travel?
Slow travel is the best form of travel for a digital nomad. But if it has to work out, you should ensure everything you need for work is also in place.
1. Your Destination Should Have A Strong Internet Connection
No matter how beautiful your location might be, without internet connectivity, it can be the worst place to have a workation. As a digital nomad, your work is as crucial as your travels, if not more.
Even if a hostel or hotel assures you of uninterrupted WiFi connectivity, ensure you also have a personal WiFi dongle as a backup.
2. Respect Local Cultures
You’ll be staying in one place for a long time. It’ll give you unique insights into the local way of life. Make sure to remain open-minded to embrace and understand the local lifestyle.
3. Make Friends
The best part about travel is that you get to meet many new people. More often than not, you’ll find people who are friendly and ready to talk. They can be valuable connections for your professional life and a much-needed friend during your travels.
FAQs About Slow Travel
1. Who is a digital slomad?
Digital slomads are digital nomads who have adopted the slow travel lifestyle.
2. Can I adopt slow travel?
Yes, the slow travel lifestyle is for everyone who can work remotely. The lifestyle gives you the perfect balance between work and leisure.
3. What is the slow travel movement?
The slow travel movement is a recent phenomenon in which people prefer to travel at a slower pace to experience local customs, cuisines, and traditions on a deeper level.
4. What are the best countries for slow travel?
Countries with dedicated digital nomad visas and digital nomad villages are ideal for slow travel. They allow an extended period of stay without much paperwork.
Countries With Digital Nomad Visas
- Antigua and Barbados
- The Bahamas
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
5. What is the best long-term travel tip?
If you choose to travel for the long term, make sure you take it slow. This prevents tourist burnout and lets you have an energetic travel experience.
Ready to Become a Slowmad?
Slow travel can be the perfect recipe for long-term travel. It prevents tourist burnout and lets you understand and embrace different cultures.
With slow travel, you can make enough time for work and leisure and live a climate-friendly travel life.