Why slow tourism is so important…To me

It’s obvious we have an obsession with seeing more, squeezing out as much as possible, getting more bang for buck. I get it, speed is sexy. But I’ve come to the rapid realisation: time that is spent fleeting is cause for distress.

The answer of course is to slow down. But this is no new notion. So where did it all begin? Where all good things (okay, pizza shaped things) begin, in Italy. In 1986 McDonald’s made plans of opening it’s first Italian franchise near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Naturally locals were mortified. A local journo Carlo Petrini and his fellow chums decided to be the voice of the people and speak out against the fast food industry – in a country that literally thrives on long, slow and hand made meals, the reaction was no surprise – and rather tongue-in-cheekily came up with their own campaign, from there, the slow food movement was born.

Of course it didn’t stop there, Canadian Carl Honoré brought the ‘slow movement’ to life in 2004 and has since made a career out of enlightening us. For me he really nailed it when he said:

“We’re so marinated in the culture of speed, that we almost fail to notice the toll it has on every aspect of our lives; health, diet, work, our relationships, the environment and our community.”

Slowing down may very well be the antithesis of sexy, but boy does it add depth.

Slow tourism is no different. Fast travel I find, is humdrum and somewhat wearisome. Not only are we putting ourselves through whistle stop wandering but we’re documenting every aspect by taking a mammoth amount of photographs to post, or was it gloat?

First our day to day life looses connection and then we travel thousands of kilometers away from home only to rush – I’m not sure I really understand the point. If it wasn’t so distressing I’d say it was almost comical. It couldn’t be more true, as Carrie Fisher said “even instant gratification takes too long” as such, if you agree you know it’s time to change.

Now that I’m more aware about the speed in which I travel I’m finding that everyday feels like a race against the clock. Which is something I’m sure most people have felt at one point or another when contemplating a holiday. The lead up to the departure is always sumptuous and enticing. The trip itself is either up to expectations or falls short. And the come down post trip (for me anyway) is catastrophically harrowing. It’s not everyday life that is the issue (for me that is) it’s time itself. How could the holiday be over already?

There is hope, it’s not all doom and dread. By slowing down, perhaps we’re actually prolonging time. So here’s to the slow tourism movement, may it one day be as sexy as it’s contrariety.

x lexi.

Ps: You can read more about my musings on slow travel here @ Mamamia.

Pss: Follow the blog to subscribe. My next trip away takes place in the center of Australia as I navigate my way along the Larapinta trail.

Psss: The feature image is a pic of the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Beautiful huh? Ironically we only spent 10 minutes here #nofilter


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