How to Stop ‘Fast’ Travel and Learn to Really Travel

Slow Travel concept, is there such a thing…?

Man in his love for the world is like

A dog gnawing on bones;

He sucks the blood between his lips

and doesn’t know it’s his own. By Yosef Qimhi, Love for the World

Travel is a huge topic right now! Everyone is wondering when and how they’ll be able to travel. Particularly people living in Northern Europe, the UK, and where the sun doesn’t really shine a lot. Coronavirus has really been a massive shock to the world, every industry is struggling apart from food shops.

Travel industry has definitely had a bit of a shock. No flights, no trains, no ferries, no movement at all. The airlines might (will) go bust as predicted by the industry experts. Did we ever think why we travel? What’s the point of the trip?

Why we travel?

I was never big on travelling. I never even thought of travelling being a pass time. However, I ended up living in London for 15 years. London is a perfect place to travel around Europe. Getting a train to Paris/Brussels is just about a few hours away. Fly to Italy, Portugal, Spain only a couple of hours of flight. Travel is easy from London.

London has so many airports too! I used to regularly take short breaks in Europe. However, the way it was done it was waste of time and money.

What was the actual purpose of my travel? To see a different European city. Have a weekend away..? A weekend away from what? Was my life so bad I needed to escape, really?! I fell into the same ‘pool’ of people who can travel so why not. I didn’t take into consideration what damage I create by booking a flight to Bergamo every weekend.

Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash

How we travel

I am Lithuanian. My husband grew up in Scotland Edinburgh. We live in Spain. Our wedding was in Edinburgh, the wedding party in Barcelona. Once we got married travel seemed natural.

We don’t travel how other people travel.

We live in a new place before we move on. We moved to Sweden for a period of four months. We lived in a small town called Helsinborg. We learned Sweden is not for us. We understood more about the food, culture, and the country. We can truly learn about the country being there for longer than a weekend.

We definitely learned the living standard in Sweden is much higher compared to the UK. To be honest, anywhere in Europe the living standards are much higher than in the UK. Harsh but true. We decided to leave Sweden. We spent more time in Barcelona. We moved to Spain and lived in the most beautiful spot one could imagine.

We travelled back to London for one project. In 10 months we managed to achieve amazing results. We had no life for 10 months but we got something amazing done…!!!

We cannot live in London. If we can avoid it we will never be back there to live. Life is fascinating and we might go back but I do hope not. We now exploring Madrid. We travel to learn and be inspired to create home designs. I cannot learn everything about the country on a short weekend, can I?

We went to Morocco for three years in a row. We spent in total about 3 months there. We never lived there. That country is huge and there’s so much to learn and see. The funny thing about Morocco is my husband and I managed to lose weight while on holiday. It was the first!

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

What the future looks like?

Who knows? I only know one thing travel will not stop. However, how we travel will change. Where my husband and I live, we live in a continuous holiday. The sun is always shining. We have a massive pool and garden. We enjoy the beauty of life. Once the restrictions will lift we can get into the car and drive down to the South of Spain.

We love the South of Spain particularly Al-Andalus. Travel around the country is going to increase. Car journeys are going to be a lot more popular. My husband and I thinking of driving to Pakistan in the land cruiser. That’s a huge journey to take! Who knows we might just do it one day?

Travel with purpose

‘We are created to know, to learn, to observe and study, to attend carefully to the reality shown to us in the workings of nature and of society.’ Steven Nightingale from Granada A Pomegranate in the Hand of God

I don’t believe in fast travel. What I consider ‘fast’ travel is short flights to hot destinations. I don’t believe in short weekend breaks. It’s not good for the environment nor is it really good for the body. The way my husband and I travel is only one way of travelling. Travel should not hurt the environment too much.

You can learn about a country or a place if you spend time. If you are just there for a weekend or a few hours you are not going to learn much about the country. If you are hopping in and out of one city then off to the next destination no knowledge will be acquired.

That’s not learning about the place. That’s not learning about the culture or the town either. Only if one spends time one can really learn about a new culture, people and places. Travel with purpose not with just ticking it off the list. Just because you physically have been to a country doesn’t mean you know much about it.

One travel blogger has been to Lithuania. He showed nothing interesting about Lithuania. No facts, no history, no culture, no food. Why on earth did that guy spend time in Lithuania? It makes no sense to me. Travel for the sake of travel is bad. It’s not interesting and it’s not exciting and it’s damaging to the environment.

Slow travel should be a way forward. It should be more exciting too because one goes deeper into the culture of the place. The short weekend trips ‘fast’ travel it’s not needed. Travel is the biggest educator but let’s remember why we travel. What’s the purpose? Am I helping or am I damaging? Let’s learn to travel consciously. Let’s make travel slow, not fast.

Love and Light.

I am a writer who learned to code! I write about personal experiences within a humanist and global context. Find me on Twitter & Instagram @erikachaudhary

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store