Destination Unknown: Traveling Slow, Experiencing More

Pin It

Rock fence on a field in Ireland I @SatuVW

After returning from our recent trip to Ireland, I scrolled through the photos on my computer and my thoughts drifted back to our vacation. For a weekend we lived almost like royals in the Durrow Castle to celebrate a friend’s wedding. After, we traversed the country in a borrowed camper van, landed in the west of Ireland and then we kind of got stuck. We had provisional plans to do a lot. Quick trip to Aran Islands, day in Westport and bike ride through the rolling hills of Connemara were all scheduled in for the few days we had there, but instead we stayed with friends, took small day trips in the near vicinity of their house and took our time to relax and enjoy.

I realized we do this quite often. We travel slow and take our time. We let our plans change when something more suitable comes along and make the most of our vacation, without the stress of seeing absolutely everything in the guide book and taking pictures of every single must-see sight.

Roadtripping in Ireland I @SatuVW

For some people traveling slow means taking considerable amount of time in each destination, preferably few weeks or months, before moving on to the next destination. But even if you don’t have the luxury of doing a one-year long (or two, or three…) round the world trip, it could be a week. Or a weekend.

For me, the reasons for traveling slow go almost hand in hand with the reasoning I gave for traveling independently, of which I wrote a little while ago. But even if you go on a package holiday, you can still take it slow.

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland I @SatuVW

Why I Travel Slow

Flexibility. When you are not tied to tight schedules, it is easier to see and seize opportunities that come your way unexpectedly. Even though surfing was not in the plans for Ireland, I managed to get on the water to test out the skills I learned in Portugal earlier this year, as we modified our plans to suit, well, the new plans.

Less stressful. When you are not in a hurry, it is easier to sit back, relax and enjoy. In Ireland we ended up spending one day without doing much at all, other than passing the day by with our friends. That was one of the best days of our vacation, even though we didn’t really experience anything new.

Seeing the small details. While taking it easy and drinking a cup of tea in the local coffee shop, you might spot small details or seize new opportunities you wouldn’t, if you were in a hurry to get to the next sight.

Meeting people, locals included. Enough said, when you are not in a hurry and you’re taking it easy in that coffee shop or wine bar, you’ll have the opportunity to strike up a conversation, whether it is with other tourists or locals.

Cafe in Lahinch in Ireland I @SatuVW

So another trip to Ireland has passed without me seeing some of the major sights and locations of the west coast. But instead, I discovered a small country pub with beautiful crab cakes and chowder, took a peaceful walk by the seaside and as said, I even surfed a little by the village of Lahinch. I also got to spend time with a friend I meet once or twice a year, and my little daughter got to play with her new friends for few days instead of only one evening. All experiences I would not trade for anything, really.

Hence I’ll keep on traveling slowly, as we have done for the past two weeks also here in England! Anyone else out there for traveling slow? Or do you prefer well scheduled, action packed vacations? 

Note: All the images in this post are from Instagram where you can find Skimbaco Lifestyle @skimbaco and my personal profile @todestinationunknown. I know, I know, Instagram images can’t compete with high quality photos but in this instance and when it comes to Ireland, these images had the right atmosphere, for me. Remember also that you can share how YOU enjoy life by using #skimbaco on Instagram to share your photos of living life to the fullest, and all these images can be found on our Facebook page.

destination unknown, travel blog, adventure travel

About Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth decided to take a year off from her nine to five marketing executive life in Finland early 2009 to travel with her kayak, bike or skis and sometimes without. "One year" turned into a new lifestyle as a travel writer, accompanied with a not-so-British entrepreneur husband from Britain, who seems to spend more time outside the borders of his homeland than within, and their baby, who has already spent more months outside Norway than at their home in Norway, where the family resides at the moment. For more stories from the road, visit Satu’s blog Destination Unknown and connect with Satu on Twitter @SatuVW.

Comments

  1. This is such an inspiring post for many reasons. I never realized that I’m a slow traveler. The last time we went to,Disneyland we ended up cutting it shot because the kids wanted together to the ocean. Cutting short the crowded lines for crashing waves were so worth it. We haven’t done the Disney cruise yet but I think for our lifestyle that might be best. Great post.

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth :

      Thank you Lala, really appreciate your comment! And I can totally relate to your Disneyland experience, that’s exactly something that we might do too… :)

  2. I so agree with you 100 percent. I”m very slow, as you know. I’m so slow that all I could accomplish in one day is three places to eat, and one sightseeing place. :)

  3. This is exactly how I like to travel! Preferably on foot, I love to meander and really notice things which others in a rush pass by, wanting to see the next thing when missing what’s right under their nose!
    I’m so pleased to have followed your link from Twitter, and hope to meet you one day in Norge!

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth :

      Thanks for your lovely comment Helen! And yes, I agree, on foot is the best way forwards.

      If you ever come up here “north”, well, couple of hours up from Oslo, let me know!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Traveling independently. Package holidays cost a lot of money. Cheap flights don’t. If you make smart travel choices you [...]

  2. [...] if you have time, touring Ireland slowly by car takes you to places you might miss when transferring from one location to the next. Small villages, [...]

Post a Comment

*