Should you be traveling short term, or if you only have limited vacation time, then sure, travel as quickly as you like. There will be much you want to see and do, and especially if you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, it’s understandable that you will want to flit from A to B faster than a butterfly trying to make the most of its short existence!
On the other hand, if you are traveling long-term; by which we mean more than a month, and possibly as long as a year or more, then go slow. Unless you’re traveling around the entire globe, Phileas Fogg style, you probably have no reason to speed up your travels.
Here are a few of the benefits of going slow.
#1: You can get to experience all that one place has to offer
Unless you’re visiting a village in the middle of nowhere that has nothing but a tree and a corner shop, there will be much to experience in the places you visit. Consider renting an apartment from international sites such as Rumah, and live somewhere for an extended period, as this will give you a place to call home while you’re exploring one region.
Visit every nook and cranny of the town or city you are living in. Hop on a bus and explore neighboring towns. Eat at every bakery, and drink from every coffee shop. Visit the touristy places and then spend time traversing those roads less-traveled. Who knows what you might find as you explore? And one thing is for certain; you would miss out on many of these things if you were in a hurry to pack your bags and travel to the next destination on your travel itinerary.
#2: You will avoid travel burnout
Do you want to know why many travelers experience burnout? It’s because of the stress that comes from being constantly on the move. By not slowing down, they run the risk of emotional fatigue, and that could stop their travels early. Let’s just hope they remembered to save enough money for the journey home! Therefore, do as we are suggesting, and slow down your pace. Stay longer in each locale, take your time, and find time to relax and connect with nature. Any stress should drift away, as you are stopping to regroup your senses, with no pressure to do the next thing, or be at the next place, or catch the next train, etc.
#3: You will get to experience new cultures
One of the joys of traveling is getting to see a new culture in action. You can see how other people live, how and what they eat, what they do for work, and where they go to worship. If you were on a whistle-stop tour, you would only get a glimpse at how other people live, but if you decided to stick around for longer, you would be in a prime position to gain a deeper understanding of the people around you. The experience could be life-changing.
#4: You will establish meaningful relationships
Sure, you might meet people along the way when traveling short term, but considering the fact that meaningful friendships require a lot of groundwork, including trust building, you would be unlikely to create a lasting friendship when you’re just passing through a place.
Long-term travel affords you this possibility, however, with friends that could conceivably last a lifetime, even after you have said goodbye at the end of your travels. And who knows? If you’re single and looking for a more loving relationship, then you might even find the man or woman of your dreams! You might then be inclined to root yourself in one place for even longer, should you take up residence with your new beau.
#5: You can learn new skills
Traveling, be that short or long term, gives you scope to learn new skills as you journey. For example, you might learn a new language or take part in an activity that wouldn’t be available to you in your home town.
But should you slow down in your travels, and stay in one place for an extended period of time, then you would be better placed to participate in any activity that stretches over time. You could join a hobby group, for example, or you might take a class at a local college or university.
You will then be able to develop skills in those activities that require a more concentrated commitment; things that you wouldn’t really have the time to do if you were constantly on the move.
#6: You can earn more money and save more money
There are all kinds of jobs you can take on when traveling, including teaching English to children, working as an au pair, and getting involved with seasonal work. If you were flitting from A to B, you wouldn’t have the time to commit yourself to certain jobs, but by slowing down, you would have the opportunity to earn money that could later extend your travels further.
And by taking it slow, you will also get the opportunity to save money. By not jumping to one location to the next on a continual pace, you wouldn’t have to spend money on transport. And assuming you rented your own place, you would get the opportunity to save money by cooking for yourself, instead of relying on food trucks and restaurants for every meal on your trip.
Any money saved could be spent on buying those touristy knick-knacks to give to your friends back home, or put into your savings tin for your next travel adventure.
Traveling is good for the mind, body, and soul, but if you’re constantly on the move without time for rest, you won’t get to feel every benefit. Slow down then, especially when you are traveling long term, and take advantage of everything we have listed in this article. With emotional, social, and financial benefits, we think we have given you enough reasons to do so.