4 Ways to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military

If your crazy-busy lifestyle has you dreaming of escaping for a simple, relaxing getaway, it might be a great time to embrace slow travel. Add slow to service, mail, witted, or to act, and you get something undesirable. Slow travel emphasis quality over quantity and incorporates wellness, cultural and environmental impact, transportation methods, and more, However, slow travel, like slow food, isn’t new, it’s becoming more desirable.

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6E98D2E2-2806-4E47-BAFF-0FDEE4CBCAEA-1024x576 4 Ways to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military
  1. Tips for Embracing Slow Travel
  2. How to Travel Slow
  3. JOMO
  4. Don’t Wing it
  5. Use Tech, don’t let it Use You
  6. How to be an Ambassador

4 Tips to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military

Mindfulness at Home and Abroad

In past travels, I’ve made a point of hitting up the top 10 sights and checking them off as if that was the only reason I was there in the first place. I want you to know that’s not the only way to travel. Most recently, I go with mindfulness in mind. Instead of globetrotting with a bucket list, I’ve narrowed my destinations to the top two or three, and focus my time and energy on them. 

You do a deep dive, learning much more than you would have if you run from one activity to the next. And you might even return home feeling well-rested and renewed instead of tired and ready for another vacation. Slow living is a great way to live every single day of your life.

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slow-travel-girl-in-the-pool 4 Ways to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military

Tips on How to Embrace Slow Life

Trendy but Not New

One of the biggest misperceptions about slow travel is that it’s the same as a simple life. Slow living is not about living your life at half-speed or without passion. It’s about living life at the right speed. Too often, we rush from one thing to the next. Slow living isn’t about losing time by going slowly. Slow living is about gaining time by doing the things you value most.

One way of accomplishing this is by traveling with the smallest footprint. If we are stationed in Asia, I travel around Asia. I eat local foods and celebrate local customs and celebrations.

1. Welcome JOMO

Embrace the ‘joy of missing out.’ Don’t try to do it all. You may need to adopt that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” mindset by choosing quality over quantity while realizing intention is essential. Consider what you’re gaining and not what you are losing. Think about what it would be like to come home from a vacation refreshed and renewed instead of feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.

I used to try to do it all. Could you put as much stuff in the duffelbag as possible? After a while, you can’t tell one church, restaurant, or attraction from the next. You’ll need photographs instead of the mind’s eye to recall what you loved about your travels.

2. Don’t Wing It

Do your research and learn which tips and what aspects of slow travel are most valuable to you. Be thoughtful. Don’t try to incorporate everything you read. Then chose one or two areas to focus on that will make you happy. Take the time to get to know the people, the culture, and the language. And please for the love of travel, don’t commute from one Army post to another in search of authentic travel experience. Some of my favorite examples include:

  • Sustainability – How I travel and what I eat, buy, or do when I get there and are they environment-friendly.
  • Retreats – Take the time to slow down and clear the deck with activities that renew my body, mind, and soul.
  • Experiential – I look for activities that teach and not just do. How can I embody a more in-depth insight into the people, places, and cultures that I can’t find in a tourist guidebook?
  • Women-only trips – Some of my favorite trips are with girlfriends because it’s a chance to rebuild the bonds of distance and time and show our support for one another.

3. Use Technology, Not the Other Way Around 

Slow travel doesn’t mean you have to travel back in time. There are a lot of apps and technology tips that make travel more convenient, and let’s be honest, more fun. I’ve read a few articles that imply the use of technology is not conducive to slow travel.

However, I disagree with this assumption wholeheartedly. Technology is a tool, and nothing more. It’s about using technology as another resource in our duffel bag to make travel more efficient. Thus, each of us has to decide at what point the gadgets themselves begin to control our behavior.

slow-travel-enjoying-sunrise-on-a-hike 4 Ways to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military

4. Share Your Joy

As a black military spouse, I am cognizant of my environment in unique ways. I look for experiences that connect me to my heritage and how I can share that with others. As a result, one of my favorite tips is to be an ambassador for the slow travel movement by gifting experiences instead of things. Studies show that experiences and not purchases promote true happiness.

The Coronavirus encourages us all a chance to hit the pause button. Maybe you start your slow travel journey with activities not typically considered travel-related. How about riding your bike to work instead of driving? Buy locally produced fruit and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. Buying local is a conscious decision to consume foods that are in season and don’t ripen in the trailer of an eighteen-wheeler. Or connect with yourself– meditate, journal, or start a yoga practice.

Whatever you choose, today’s a good day to get started.

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9 thoughts on “4 Ways to Embrace Slow Travel in the Military

  1. you know, I am not used to slow travel, I am always seeking the next adventure, the next thrill, etc… I need to experience slow travel once.

  2. I would LOVE to travel and just relax. Relaxing is something I have no idea how to do unless I sleep

  3. I love the idea of JOMO! I think often times planning a trip is more stressful than it should be. Love these tips to just enjoy and live in the moment πŸ™‚

  4. I love slow travel. It’s how I usually travel, and it’s definitely really nice for your state of mind. It’s great to relax and approach travel with a slow attitude.

  5. This sounds like a nice way to travel. Too often I associate travel with stress and too much of an agenda, but this would be relaxing.

  6. Oh I am longing for when we can travel again with this pandemic. There’s some great tips here, especially about sourcing food and being respectful towards the place you are visiting. I would love to do a women only trip too.

    1. Thank you. I love my girl’s trips too. I am feening BAD to get out of my neighborhood and my head.

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