Very nice article in the Wall Street Journal magazine about the various definitions of “Slow Travel”. They included the definition that I used when I created the SlowTrav.com website and community – spending a week in one place instead of moving fast to many places on a trip.
Wall Street Journal magazine, Easy Rider, Nancy Keates, April 29, 2010. “Like the slow-food movement, slow travel offers an antidote to today’s fast-paced lifestyle. “
I wish I were as eloquent as Carl Honere, the spokesman for slow with his book “In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed”, and Ed Gillespie, who spent a year traveling around the world without stepping into a plane (he call them “aluminum sausages” – I might try for a more appealing vegetarian metaphor), but I think my definition fits well with theirs.
Over ten years ago, when I was having fun learning web design and decided to put up my own website, Steve and I sat down and tried to find a name for how we traveled. We did our “year in Europe” trip in 1988-89 and realized that for us it was more fun to spend a week or two weeks or a month in one place, instead of seeing more places. We discovered European vacation rentals as an accommodations alternative. They suited us because we like to do most of our own cooking, we like to settle into a place and see everything and they were less expensive. We thought the term “slow” described our type of travel, so called it “Slow Travel” (I even trademarked it in the US).
After our big trip, we returned to Europe frequently, always staying in vacation rentals. In 2000, when I started SlowTrav.com, most Americans who went to Europe stayed in hotels. The world of European vacation rentals was too complicated to break into. That all changed with the boom of vacation rental agencies and websites on the Internet. My lucky timing was to start SlowTrav.com just then and we formed a wonderful community of travelers, many of whom had already been traveling that way and others who thought it sounded great and wanted to give it a try.
I loved running that community, but the time came to move on and now Internet Brands owns the trademark and the community. “Slow Travel” is no longer mine.
But, I am on my soapbox screaming about vacation rentals in Europe with my new website “Slow Europe”. If you like to travel, and you love going to Europe, give vacation rentals a try (if you haven’t already). This form of accommodation may suit you perfectly as it does us. Read my Vacation Rentals Guide for more information about vacation rentals in Europe.
Examine your travel life, decide how you want to experience travel, don’t travel so that your experiences “sound good” to others but determine what makes you happy and do that.
Steve and I (and our cat) leave next week for five months in England, staying in one place and living (and working) there. A new travel adventure for us.