There now exists numerous studies that millennials belong to the age of instant gratification. Instant food, coffee, research — these are all within our reach. We’re fast-paced. Innovative. Multi-taskers. Always connected. Rarely not busy.
But, we’re also a generation that puts high value on people; thus, the emergence of self-care routines and the never-ending thirst for learning. This said, it’s quite guaranteed that millennials need to learn the art of slow travel.
What is slow travel?
Basically, slow travel means travelling at an unhurried pace. Doing less, experiencing more. This may sound paradoxical to the millennial, but slowing down allows us to take in our surroundings more.
Think: You’re off your social media accounts. You’ve let go of every internal pressure of having to gram every meal. You’re going with the flow of life. You meet a local. Agree to have coffee with them. You try out their favourite pub. Learn about their culture and traditions.
In essence, slow travel prioritises the understanding of a community rather than the mere exploration of it. And, millennials should totally give it a chance.
5 reasons why millennials should try slow travel
1. It’s a form of self-care
Some bitter folks call millennials entitled, but most of us are just taking extra steps of precaution to maintain a healthy mental space. After all, we’re living in an oversaturated world that feeds on our insecurities. If going on a digital detox once in a while helps us keep our sanity, then who’s to say we’re selfish for doing so?
Self-care is important for everyone, and millennials are highly aware of that. With this, we can understand the necessity of giving ourselves a break from the hustle and bustle. Slow travel gives us that. It allows us to listen to our bodies for once. We get to decide when to wake up and when to get out of bed. It’s reinvigorating.
2. It empowers local communities
Us millennials take good care of ourselves because we want to contribute to society in the best way we can. We generally have a “people first” principle — something not many people recognise.
Slow travel is for us because it allows us to participate in building up communities. As we practice slow travel, we discover local businesses. We eat at small, family-run restaurants. We support goods from the public market. Through this, we empower the local economy in our own way.
3. It’s relatively eco-friendly
When we practice slow travel, we forego faster modes of transportation. As we just stay in one place for a longer period of time, we don’t just hastily go in and out vehicles to visit every tourist destination there is.
Why does this matter to us? Transportation pollution is a major source of global warming emissions, and I’m sure none of us wants to contribute to that. With slow travel, we leave less carbon footprint.
4. It guarantees a unique and personal experience
Millennials are intentional in living a purposeful life. To achieve this, we need to feel like we’re experiencing the world through our own lenses.
Whereas travelling at a busy pace leads us to focus on a checklist of destinations and activities, slow travel encourages us to be in touch with both our surroundings and ourselves. Thus, it pushes us to go with the flow. With this, we’re more susceptible to surprising encounters. We’re also more likely to gather treasured memories.
5. It challenges us and brings growth
We’re a generation that thrives on growth and learning. And, we mostly learn through experience.
While slow travel sounds easy, it’s definitely difficult for those of us who are too used to being preoccupied. It’s an obstacle that challenges our typical mindset that says: In order to gain more, we must do more.
Added to this, slow travel encourages us to really immerse in different communities — conquering cultural barriers is not a joke! Then, we also have to be more mindful of our every action when we practice slow travel. But, like every challenge, we come out stronger and smarter after a trip like this.
We’re a generation that puts high value on people, and we need to value ourselves first before we can overflow with love for the world. So, why don’t we all try to slow down and take in what life has in store for us during our trips?