Slow travel…slowly returning?

Greetings from Thailand!

This past week I came across an article in the Globe & Mail that captures much of the sentiment in my own mind regarding ‘slow travel’, as well as what I’ve heard from members in this community. I think it warrants a read and a few moments of further reflection.

“More mindset than velocity … connecting to the soul of a place through its history, food, language and people becomes more important than chasing bucket list ticks and Instagram photos.” 

If you’ve attended any of our webinars over the past few years, I think you’d agree this sounds a lot like our goal for our travellers to become well-travellled and well-connected. The effect travel has on us is powerful, and like anything powerful, it can manifest in positive or negative ways.

The term ‘overtourism’ has entered our lexicon in the past few years as a result of the dark side of travel – too much collective self-serving behaviour, without regard for the impact on local communities, the environment, and so on.

It seems 2020 in retrospect will perhaps be remembered as a reset across many spheres of human life, and while the short term outcomes of that have been a bitter pill for many of us, I think the long term ones will come out as a net positive.

When we did Part IV of our Incredible Rail Journeys series this past week, our partners who operate Orient Express shared that one of the core drives to relaunch it was a recognition that life had become too fast-paced, and people were craving forms of travel that allowed them to be more present and to find enjoyment in the journey.

I think this is trend is encapsulated in the renewed interest in train travel and programs like our proposed LiveAways. It is entirely possible to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we can miss those particular moments of beauty and deep insight that give us the memories that we cherish later in life.

So, I think we should embrace the feedback of present times, and use the pause from our normal ways of living and travelling to get reacquainted with what’s really important to us in our journey as travellers.

There are times for reflection and times for action, and it’s not quite time for action yet. Stay safe, stay warm, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, and let’s wait with grateful and optimistic spirits.


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