Slow Travel EuropeMaking conscious choices

Welcome to Slow Travel Europe

We believe that we can add meaning to life by making things go faster. We have an idea that life is short - and that we must go fast to fit everything in. But life is long. The problem is that we don't know how to spend our time wisely. — Carlo Petrini, Founder of the Slow Food Movement

Robert Louis Stevenson and Freya Stark both travelled with donkeys. They were attentive to every turn of the road on their journeys through France and Arabia respectively. But us? We pack ourselves like sardines into fragile aluminium tubes and speed through the sky at hundreds of miles per hour. Come now! That is not real travel.

The anticipation of arrival undermines the pleasure of the journey as we make haste to get to this or that resort, conference or meeting. But it need not be so. We have slow food, slow cities and now is the time for more attention to slow travel.

The journey becomes a moment to relax, rather than it being a stressful interlude between home and destination. Of course slow travel is much more than just that. It is a whole way of looking at the world. Slow travellers explore communities along the way, dawdle and pause as the mood takes them and check out spots recommended by the locals. Slow travel is downbeat, eco-friendly and above all fun. Travel like it used to be, but without the donkeys.

“The art of living,” says Carlo Petrini, the charismatic founder of the Slow Food Movement, “is about learning to give time to each and every thing.” And that, most surely, should include travel.

By Nicky Gardner
co-editor of hidden europe magazine.