Apparently the days of hectic vacations are over. The new way to travel is slowly. Book a small, quirky cottage or a room in a remote hotel, make your way there slowly by train or by boat, and immerse yourself in the experience of being there. Read for a week. Explore vineyards. Go on an archaeological dig. Don’t book yourself onto a coach tour and jostle for views of Michelangelo’s David one day and the Arc de Triomphe the next. You’ve heard of slow food (where you savor every mouthful) – this is slow travel.
Another way of looking at slow travel is as the vacation equivalent of organic food. In a time when we’re all a little tired of being treated like cattle on airplanes – and are also worried about the effect of our carbon footprints, it seems there’s been an increasing interest in other modes of transport. Trains. Cruise ships. Barges. Canoes. Bikes. Mules. Feet. Advocates of this trend cite being able to look around you as you go, and really feel like you’re traveling. Let’s face it – there’s something a little surreal about flying. It’s not quite matter transmission (à la ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’), but you miss out all the stuff in between and arrive home feeling rather disjointed. One minute you’re in Mexico, the next you’re back in LA clutching a sombrero and piñata and wondering what happened. Slow down, take it all in. And the other trick is to take your time – your vacation time, that is, all at once. Get away for a month, and take your time getting wherever it is you're going. After all, what's the rush? RM