I love slow travel. Even in my earlier days when overachieving was an attractive endeavor, I rarely enjoyed vacations that were just go, go, go.
The “Go Slow” movement has already been around for years now. Alistair Sawday popularized slow travel with his picturesque descriptions of Europe taken at the pace it deserves.
When we were planning our trip to France years ago, I remember stumbling upon the “go slow” movement, and selecting a bed-and-breakfast to stay in during our time in Provence. Not only did our rooms include meals, but we also got to know Michael, a sweet British francophile who started his own B&B decades ago.
Provence was made for slow travel, and to this day I am glad we did it. I am glad we stayed for four nights, enjoying long dinners with our host and other guests, learning to cook, exploring the town of Arles with its Roman ruins and the vibrant red town of Roussillon, part by part.
One of my favorite memories from our time in Provence was the opportunity to learn how to make real French chocolate croissants. Michael was quite the chef, and delighted us with everything from fish tartine to beef bouguignon to pretty little whelks (sea snails) with homemade mayonnaise. (French mayonnaise, by the way, was an epiphany.)
The thing I love most about slow travel is not simply the opportunity to experience everything more richly and thoroughly, but the attitude that life does not have to be an unending checklist of must-sees. In due time, I see myself looking back over the years and searching for quality, not quantity.
Have you ever gone slowly in your travels? Do you make lists of sites to visit before you go? I’d love to know!