Let’s talk about bucket lists. The term is a bit macabre really, the meaning being a list of things to do before you kick the bucket, ergo die. Making lists around your impending death? Not that inspiring in this writer’s opinion. This also infers jumping from place to place for an Instagram photo and a travel souvenir. I’d rather talk about inspirational travel lists. Slow travel is the way of the future. Trust me on this. We’ve all lived through a time of lock down and fear and, well, not traveling. And as we enter our second year of this viral craziness, we continue to want to protect ourselves and each other. This is number one of course.
However, without a doubt people are turning back towards their proverbial “bucket lists”, when an inspirational travel list may be more appropriate. What do we all want to do right now but live a more inspired life? Don’t tell me you haven’t whispered to yourself “when this is over, I’ll do better, I’ll live more inspirational I’ll complete some of these lists I’ve had in my back pocket for my life”. Well, the worst way to experience anything inspired is to rush through it. This list is of course, different for everyone. Some may be dreaming of driving to Mom’s place and getting a hug and big slice of lasagna. For others, a favourite lake a few hundred miles away has been calling them (or maybe the fish have). Maybe you just want to sit by a stream in a place that you do not call home; or jump from an airplane in a place that you do. And some may be thinking “I am finally going to Asia / Africa / India / France / Turkey” or whatever far off place is singing to your heart. We’ve heard of or experienced “Zoom themed dinners” filled with Italian, Thai or Indian food. Candles and buddhas on dinner tables, cocktails with umbrellas and even the simple act of a bouquet of tropical flowers, assuaging us as we wait for better times and different places.
Travel is first a journey of the heart and then the feet, and it is a time to listen to our hearts, perhaps for the first time. If your dream is a few hundred miles away or across the globe, now is the time to dive into the internet or old travel photos or magazines or talks with friends that have been there and really research your plan. Make it better and make it slower. Good research is enjoyable in itself, as you take the opportunity to peel back the layers of a location and make plans for slow travel, meaning you’ll stay in one spot for 5, 6, 7 days and really breathe in all that it has to offer.
Slow travel is gaining in popularity as people create a customized travel itinerary tailored to their personal interests. This can be done anywhere, sometimes with a company’s help, and sometimes with a little research. Slow travel also entails doing less but with more intention. Take a few things OFF of your list and focus in on the things that you think you’ll most enjoy; these are the things you really shouldn’t rush through. When you slow travel you are more than just a tourist, you are a curious, friendly visitor. Make plans that will involve putting your phone away, eating with locals and finding local modes of transportation. Be flexible, inquisitive, present and most importantly take your time.
Because now is the time to plan to make where ever you are going meaningful and personal for you.