Traveling is a highly subjective and individualistic subject. Every one travels in his/her own pace and style, and that reflects the kind of person they are. It’s much like picking your movies and clothes, really. How, more than where, you travel is a reflection of your true self. By Shubhanjana Das
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“I began 2019 with a pledge – to cut down flying as much as possible. So I set out on an epic land journey – using public transport – from northern Thailand, through the length and breath of Myanmar, to Manipur in the remote northeast of India. Over a fortnight, I took many buses, drove an electric bike, kayaked on rice paddies, went on a crazy motorbike adventure along narrow winding mountain roads, took a canoe and hiked. Even as I crossed the land border from Thailand to Myanmar and changed my greetings from sawadeekha to minglaba, I had no idea what Myanmar would offer me. Much to my surprise and delight, my land route was filled with karst mountains, misty sunrises, ancient temples, rhododendron forests and the tribal wonders of Chin State. I’m now convinced that long land journeys are infinitely more adventurous than hopping on a plane – and better for the planet too.” . . This is an excerpt from my latest blog post – The Epic Land Journey from Thailand to India via Myanmar. Read it at the link in my bio or on the-shooting-star.com 👣 . . Then tell me, is this land journey on your bucket list? And do you have any travel resolutions for 2019? . . #theshootingstar #myanmartravel #indiatothailand #slowtravel #iphonexsmax
On that note, may we also bring to light that there is no right or wrong way to travel. How you choose to travel should be a comfort to you and bring you joy, no matter what style it is. To each his own. But, if we were to draw a line between what we call a ‘slow traveller’ and a ‘check-list’ junkie, which one do you think you would be?
Back in the 70s when backpacking as a way of travel was just taking shape, slow travel used to be the only way of travel. Backpackers would move from one place to another in their own pace and live more like a local than a tourist at one place. Slow travel allows a traveller to truly get to know a place, its language, culture, people, food, music and everything that constitute a particular city/state/country and its history. Living like a local comes naturally to you, and it’s no wonder that you end up making a group of friends in this place since you’ve lived there long enough to do so. If we talk about expenses of living in a place for longer, it is actually cheaper than fast travel. You take your own time to explore, you find a place to stay that sustains you for longer, and end up getting used to and even liking the local cuisine. Not to mention, it is extremely relaxing and rewarding.
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The Northern Lights and me – it’s an addiction I can’t quite understand 💚💚 Every time I see the northern lights, I see my 18 year old self stepping gingerly on a flight for the first time. I see glimpses of people I loved and lost. I see challenges changing to triumphs. I see love and heartbreak. And almost always, I see my dad in that sky – so near, yet so far! 💚💚 ✨ ✨ The dance of the Northern Lights manages to be happy, sad, melancholic all at once. And completely overwhelming. Perhaps that’s why it’s the ONE travel experience I recommend to everyone! Perhaps that’s why I myself seek them like a crazed person EVERY winter? ✨ ✨ The Northern Lights and me – it’s an addiction I can’t quite understand 💚💚
Who is a slow traveller?
A slow traveler is one who is more likely to travel how they live-in a slow and comfortable place. They are likely to spend more time in one place than moving from one place to another. The slow travel art is more of a mindset than a ‘to-do’ on someone’s list, which is something that a slow traveller strictly avoids. However, getting bored or feeling grounded in one place is a more likely experience for a slow traveller than a fast one. They also need much more time to travel, meaning that they often have to leave work and family behind for a few months or sometimes, even years.
Who is a check-list junkie?
As for check-list junkies, these people are the ones who found it difficult to take time off work and hence, the idea of visiting as many cities or countries in the span of time that they have been allowed, finally, looked like a more desirable idea to them. They will have the best check-lists for every place, every street, every corner and are likely to try and cram as many activities as possible in a day so as to not miss out on anything. This is the prevalent practice in tourism.
Fast travel has its own share of advantages. Not only do you see more places and visit more countries, you are always onto something and on the move. There can never be a dull moment when you are on the go. Sometimes, this also means hopping from country to country in a span of just a few days. Like everything, there is a flip side to this coin as well. While it may allow you more adventures, more places to visit, it does take away the part where you meet and interact with more people. It is also more expensive and ends up being exhaustive for some people.
The next time you travel, think about which of the above are you — a slow traveller or check-list junkie? For either, we suggest you dip your feet in another pool for a change and experience the change of temperature. Happy travelling!