On the flip side, I've long admired travelers who can squeeze in as much countries, places, or tourist spots in a given period of time. How they'd pack then unpack their backpack and dart from one place to another, diligently blogging about their experiences on the fly, they were living out of a suitcase but practically seeing more of the world than me.
Travelling on a regular basis seemed like a dream come true, until I did the same a few months ago (with only 1-3 days layover in Manila), but I'd feel exhausted and unaccomplished when I returned to my homebase. All this fast-paced travelling wasn't for me, it seems. I felt hollow trying to experience as much as I could during my visit. So I decided that slow travelling for me is the way to go.
I quite recall the book "In Praise of Slow" by Carl Honore which I purchased back in early 2000 when I was in the rat race (I was in the BPO industry then trying to make sense of my life, I later realized it wasn't for me) and I needed something to reinforce my belief that faster isn't always better. While it doesn't mean that you employ a snail's pace in everything, rather it was about seeking to do everything at the right speed.
Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible.And so here I am slow travelling -- and some friends will say, I'm pretty chill in all aspects of my life anyway. What does it mean exactly? Slow travelling is immersing oneself in a place (be it a small area initially) and taking the time to get to know the local culture deliberately. After a first visit, I start planning my second, third, or maybe fourth return strategically mapping out which parts of the same city/country I'll discover next. This was what I did when I explored Singapore years ago, Baler in 2015 (I think I went back around 8 times), and then now apparently I am also doing the same thing with Palawan. Some places are just too expansive for a one-time visit.
At the same time, my slow travel also includes varied accommodations: a hotel, homestay, hostels to make the experience more meaningful. I haven't tried Coushsurfing yet though I may be inclined to do so this year. I try to stay at least a week in one place, working towards a month if budget permits so I don't have to fly too often.
While I understand that slow travel may be unattractive for some folks especially those whose vacation leaves are limited, I urge you to try it out and see if it changes your perspective of travel.
Now my next dilemma, how do you move on and not get attached to certain destinations? I guess that's a topic for another blog post. In the meantime, what do you think about slow travel? Is this something your lifestyle will permit?