I Need Some Slow Travel in My Life: Finding a Relaxed Pace of Travel

van sleep - slow travel

I’m longing for some slow travel! Last month, I spent three weeks traveling around the East Coast of the U.S., as you surely noticed if you follow me on Instagram. I made stops in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, North Carolina and Atlanta.

I ran around like a madman to see all the tourist attractions as well as some hidden local spots, trying to cram as much as possible into the short window I had in each location.

It was fun. But exhausting. And that’s how most of my travel is these days.

Missing out on slow travel

A lot of travel bloggers like to write about the benefits of slow travel – remaining in one spot for weeks or months at a time. It’s a great way to recharge the batteries and get to know a local area really well.

That’s what I did when I lived in Mexico City for four months. I got to know the place really well and became an expert on the cool things to see and do in Mexico City.

But there hasn’t been enough slow travel recently. Whirlwind trips like exploring waterfalls in the Dominican Republic and visiting the Atomium during my one day in Belgium. But I need some slow travel in my life. Even if it’s just for a few days.

I can’t remember the last time I truly relaxed and chilled out on a trip. It might have been the Cancun vacation several years ago, where I spent two days checking out a nearby town and Mayan ruins and the other five lying around at the beach. That was a long time ago.

One of my favorite memories from my cross-country van trip a few years back was sitting around at a South Carolina campground doing absolutely nothing except reading and hiking to some abandoned gold mines. A break for nature and peace… what a concept!


Trying to do too much

Alaska was the prime example of a trip where I totally wore myself out. I had so much planned for the eight days (I almost drove the entirety of Alaska’s road system) that I got to sleep in exactly one day out of eight. Every other morning, I was up by 7 to race to the next location.

There are some benefits to this style of crazyhyperfast travel, as I’m now formally calling it. The biggest advantage is that you get to see more and do more.

Alaska is actually the perfect place for crazyhyperfast travel, because when you have opportunities to hike inside glaciers or take a whale-watching cruise or take a flightseeing trip to a Denali National Park, you’re not going to pass them up. There are so many unique experiences in Alaska that you really should try to fit as many as possible into your visit. I knew that once I got home from Alaska, I would forget about how tired I was and just remember the amazing memories.

But on most other trips, a slower pace is preferable.

Hopefully, I can put the slow travel idea to use in January, when I head to Los Angeles for five days. There’s nothing at all on the agenda, except to check out the neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Echo Park to see if we might want to move out there.

We’ll most definitely be hitting the beach if the weather cooperates. And taking it easy.

Do you prefer slow travel or crazyhyperfast travel?

16 thoughts on “I Need Some Slow Travel in My Life: Finding a Relaxed Pace of Travel”

  1. Can I second this? I’m in Atlanta now decompressing after nine days racing around the South. I was going to go out and see some more Atlanta sites but I’m spending today in a coffee shop chilling out (after sleeping in for the first time in a week, I might add) and decompressing by watching some football with a friend. Between now and Christmas every weekend is booked with a trip so I know it won’t be stopping anytime soon (and I’ll never complain about travel) but it would be nice to head down to Latin America again and just chill out for a week.

    1. Wow, you’re going even faster than me! Yeah, I totally forget what it is to sleep in when I travel. Once in a while, it’s nice. Can’t wait to read about all the places you are going.

  2. I prefer slow travel very much – I love taking my time, taking photos, connecting with people, exploring further. However, the rush of crazyhyperfast can be fun sometimes. At other times, it’s a budget consideration – that was the case for me in super expensive NYC. I’m willing to fast-travel through a destination if the alternative is not to travel there, if I really want to travel there. Also, I crazyhyperfast-ed through the southwest because I wanted to see as many relatives as possible – and they’re so spread out across states!

    1. I think I get a lot of satisfaction from packing as much as possible into a short window, so maybe that’s why I like these 2 and 3 day trips. I probably won’t give up the short trips, I’ll just have to squeeze in some slower ones too.

  3. I’m guilty of the ‘trying to do too much’ philosophy too. But after some non-stop, all-out adventures I finally realized slow travel is more relaxing, and just as much fun. Enjoy the SLOW travel times ahead…

    1. Typically, I do all my work a week or two in advance, and then skip work on the road so I can see more sights. Clearly my strategy isn’t working, so I am open to changing this.

  4. Ohmigeeze, Alaska in 8 days?!?! Even though it sounds sort of lame, I am so glad I did a tour, so that someone else did the driving. I couldn’t imagine seeing everything that I did AND do all the driving on top of it. Unless you have like 3 months, or a crew of people to travel with, my new recc for the 49th is to do a tour, no matter how lame it sounds.

    I, unfortunately, don’t have time to slow travel anymore, but when planning my trips, I just make sure I only do a few things with the intention that I will return one day to do it all. I don’t jam in as much as I used to and am very happy for that.

    While in LA, gotta check out Eagle Rock too! (my ‘hood!). Silver Lake is so 1990 (and expensive). Let me know if you need any reccs:-).

    1. Oh thanks for the LA info. I’m not familiar with Eagle Rock yet. I may end up without a vehicle there (yikes), which means I’d need to live near Santa Monica Blvd so I can take the bus through all the places I’ll want to go (The beach, Hollywood, Weho, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake, downtown, etc.)

      1. Visiting LA with no car = do-able, but a pain in the ass (and a huge time waster as you will spend most of your time traveling from one place to another).
        Live in LA with no car = defying the laws of nature. (I don’t know a soul who has done this while living here more then 6 months).

        Good luck! There is definitely a post about that adventure:-)

        1. I used to follow the blog of a guy who lived car-free in LA for two years so I got some good insight from him. The fact that I work from home and ride my bike everywhere would make it reasonably doable in my case (even though LA isn’t a great bike city.) Then again, my boyfriend has a vehicle, so I probably won’t have to put this no-car lifestyle to the test 🙂

  5. Give me slow travel any day. I’d much rather sit back and enjoy one place than race around trying to do it all. Vacation for me is a time to recharge and relax – the rest of my year is busy enough!

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