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?