I’m writing to you from Dubrovnik, Croatia to let you know that the slow travel experience is not to be missed in your lifetime. We’re all in a hurry to do this and that, see here and there and check things off our ever present or non-existent “bucket lists”. While slowly sipping on a divine glass of wine in old town the other night, my mother and I met this couple from New Hampshire who were on a bender of a trip… The longest time they spent anywhere in the last few weeks was four nights in Prague and thy aren’t young, very close to the ripe old age of 60. My mother is here for two weeks and we’re spending 4 nights in Budva and 9 in Dubrovnik; when you move slow you really let yourself marinate in the sauce, so to speak.
I implore you at some time in your life to do some slow travel; go somewhere based on a great recommendation from a trustworthy source and just stay there. Spend your time eating local produce, strolling the streets like you have all the time in the world and if you’re in the mood to do little at all, just do that. There is an ever popular expression out there which is “I’ll need a vacation from this vacation”; go on a vacation where you won’t need a vacation where the vacation leaves you so rested and rejuvenated that when you return to wherever you’re from you’ll have a relaxed state of mind and hopefully, a new perspective on things.
If you’re going to take in the slow travel experience, I recommend you stay somewhere outside the city center. Take Dubrovnik for instance, it’s main draw is without a doubt the old city and on any given day you can go there and feel like you’ve been crammed into a sardine tin, yes? That said, if you are staying a while you can afford to do what you wish during the day and stroll in with a smile at sunset and enjoy some wine and actually get a feel for the place. We’re staying in Gruz which is about a 20 minute walk or so, another great area to look into is Lapad where they have a few hotels, shopping, cafes and some great swimming spots. To say I’m loving Dubrovnik would be an understatement; that said I did spend a week here then fly my mother out for another stint in the place because I wanted her to experience it.
By staying outside the core of the action you get to experience what it’s like to live as a local to some degree and you can always get in the mix should one wish. The prices drop and with that the pressure to fill everyday with experiences you can bring home. Ultimately, nobody really cares where you’ve been or what you’ve done so on your vacation I urge you to get really selfish and ask yourself, how could I best spend my day? Chances are it’s not racing from one place to another and taking photos until your camera’s battery dies. If that’s your bag, go for it but if it’s not, give the slow travel experience a try.
In closing, I like all styles of travel and enjoy a manic rip through the odd spot as much as a slow roll but don’t only do one; experience both and find out for yourself which one fits your style. Are you tired from a long winter of work? Try the slow travel experience, are you feeling bored with your life and want some excitement? Go nuts and as my friends from Costa Rica would say “Yell PuraVida while emptying your wallet”. There is no right or wrong way to travel much like there is no right or wrong way to live your life but do try the other options you’re not accustomed to; a small change just might be what you were looking for all along.
I’m here another week or so and my next moves are up in the air as per usual.
Top photo is a view of Gruz Harbour from our apartment.