Let’s be honest – traveling can be exhausting. You sometimes end up feeling way more tired during your trip than when you first left. And no wonder! When we travel, we usually try to see as many places as possible. We live hectic and stressful lives, trying to constantly get from point A to point B. We try to squeeze in as much as possible in our itineraries just so that we feel like we’re not losing any of our precious time. But what’s the fun in traveling if you’re constantly feeling stressed? If you’re going to backpack for a few months, you will burnout if you keep traveling in this pace. So why not try something else instead: slow travel.
Slow traveling is just what it sounds like: you travel in a slower pace. Instead of trying to see as much as many sites or cities as possible, you take your time to explore each destination thoroughly instead and really experience the local culture. For example, when we arrive to a new city, we only go to the main attractions and maybe venture a bit outside to see something else. But when we stay there for more than just a few days, we’ll slowly start to find those hidden gems that only locals know of, we get to know the locals and their culture, we find our favorite cafés, our favorite spots to sit and read a book, etc. Doesn’t that sound nicer than rushing to your next destination? Here are a few more reasons why you should practice slow traveling when you’re in Vietnam (and everywhere else in the world!).
Slow travel reduces your environmental impact
By traveling slower, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. This is because you won’t take as many flights, buses, trains for example, since you’re staying in one place for a longer time. Once you’re settled, rely on ground transportation to get around the country. Flying has a much bigger and more definite impact on the environment so every time you can skip taking the flight, try to do so. Taking the train for example can be a nicer way to travel as well, although slower. But with the train, you can look outside and see all the spectacular views that you’d miss while flying.
Slow travel is healthier for you
No one should have to need a “vacation from your vacation”. We travel because we want to relax, we want to unwind and we want to be able to reconnect with ourselves. We don’t travel to burn ourselves out. It’s just as important to take care of our wellbeing when we travel as it is when we’re working at home. So don’t ignore your body when it says it needs to rest. When we travel slower, we get better sleep because we don’t need to rush to another place and we eat more healthy because you can cook the food yourself instead of always eating out. That is, if you’re in Vietnam and it’s ridiculously cheap to eat out so you’re more likely to buy food rather than cook it. But if you stay in a place for a longer time, you can at least eat a few home cooked meals, which we guarantee you’ll be longing for after a few weeks of eating out.
Slow traveling is better for your budget
When we travel, we mostly spend our money on transportation, food and accommodation. But if you’re going to stay in one place for a longer time, you can try looking for AirBnB listings for example that often gives discount for long-term stays. You can also try house sitting, although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. As was stated above, when you stay in a place for a longer time, you can cook your own meals, which can ultimately save you a few dollars. You’re also not likely going to spend as much money on transportation either if you practice slow traveling, which will definitely be better for your budget.
Slow traveling allows you to really get to know the place, the people and the culture
This is perhaps the most beneficial part about slow traveling. When we rush from one place to the other, we rarely get the time to truly get to know the place. How could we if we only stay for a few days? If you really want to get to know a country, a city, its people and the culture, the best thing for you is to be more flexible with your time. When you stay in a place for longer period of time, you’ll establish more meaningful connections with the place, people and culture. Taking in a place’s culture and traditions don’t happen overnight. So don’t stress, but really take the time to learn about the place you’re at. You’re going to get unforgettable memories and learn a thing or two on the way.