The Art of Slow Travel in Andalusia
Made for Slow Travel
In a country that celebrates the siesta, it’s no surprise that Spain was made for slow travel. It goes hand in hand with the lifestyle and culture here. It’s always the perfect time to stop for a long coffee break; or perhaps a glass or red wine as you watch the world go by, whilst sampling some local tapas. After an incredibly busy year of buying our first home together and starting a new job, a slow travel inspired trip to Spain was everything we needed and more.
Taking a Step Back
Both avid travellers and keen to see as much of the world as possible, it’s often so easy to get wrapped up in the runaround culture of trying to fit everything in on your ‘must see’ list before the holiday is over. Especially for me, an obsessive planner. In recent years I’ve tried to step back from scheduling every moment and instead see where that moment takes us.
Often when someone returns from their travels you ask them how it was, the first thing they’ll say is “I need a holiday to get over it” leaving you more exhausted than before you left. Running away to get a break from the daily frantic pace and stresses of life many of us live in, it seems awfully counter-productive to do exactly the same, just in another place.
How to Travel Slow
In recent years, the slow living movement has encouraged us all, even just a little, to take a step back from always being busy and instead seek sanctuary in those quieter moments. With beginnings in Italy, slow travel as a concept has been around since the 1980s. It promotes a connection to the local land, produce and people. Immersing yourself in the culture of others, it’s everything travelling should be about.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is by living it. I’m a huge fan of the likes of airbnb as it really helps provide a more authentic experience in local neighbourhoods. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to live like a local, but quite often the hosts can provide you with the kind of knowledge you’d only know as a resident. You need to know where has the best tapas in town right?
In the spirit of slow travel, if you’re staying in the likes of an airbnb, why not cook for yourself? It’s often more affordable and if you’re like me, you’ll love taking a nosy into all the unique local produce on offer at markets, local grocery stores and bakeries. If you’re eating out, prioritise independent cafes and restaurants, there’s a reason the local communities dine here as opposed to at a chain restaurant you’ll find all over.
If you’ve hired a car for your journey, instead of taking the main roads why not take a road a little more off the beaten path. One of my favourite things about having our own car when travelling is the ability to pull over whenever we find something of interest, even just to admire the view. A luxury you don’t have if you only stick to motorways.
One of the most romantic and relaxing ways to travel is by train, especially within Europe. Watch the world go by from the window without having to worry about whether you’ve taken the right exit or not. The routes here are often incredibly beautiful, passing by mountains and the coast.
Remember, if don’t manage to see everything you were hoping to, there’s always another trip! What better excuse to go back and enjoy another quiet afternoon sipping Sangria in the sunshine?