Pros and Cons of Slow Travel

Slow Travel – Spend 2 – 6 months (or more!) at a time in each location

Pros

  • You’ll probably rent an apartment, which means that you may feel more ‘at home’ whilst you’re there. (Whether this is a good thing or not varies per person!)
  • It’s a lot cheaper! You can negotiate far better discounts on accommodation if you stay for a few weeks or months at a time. Because you’ll get to know the location better, you’ll find cheaper places to shop and eat out.
  • You kind of feel like a local! This is one of my favourite bits. I love the feeling of gradually getting to know the secrets of a place – whether this is the local’s bar hidden in a little side street where no-one speaks English, or the quiet clifftop walk with the incredible view.
  • You can pick up the language. If you enjoy learning languages, this is a fantastic way to understand the culture of a place better and even knowing a few words of the lingo can completely change your experience.
  • You can get into a good work routine, and be much more productive than if you were constantly on the road.
  • It’s easier to make friends if you know you’re going to be around for a while!

Cons

  • You miss out on the thrill of constant travel. There’s something wonderful about waking up in an unfamiliar room, or falling asleep on a train headed to an exotic new place. You don’t get this so much if you always travel slowly.
  • There’s less variety in your day to day life – particularly if you’ve got a deadline to meet. You might find yourself waking up, staring at a computer for ten hours, watching tv then going to bed without setting foot outside your door! Although this is necessary sometimes, who would want to do that every day?
  • It’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff if you stay in one place for a while, which can be a pain to get rid of when you want to move on.
  • You have a lot less flexibility. If you negotiate a great deal on an apartment for three months, then decide you hate the town after a couple of weeks, you’re kind of stuck! Although slow travel gives you much more stability, it can also limit your freedom. This is probably less of an issue in cheaper locations, where you might not need to negotiate a discount on your rent for a longer stay.

So, what do you think? Are you a slow traveler, or do you prefer to keep moving?

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