A Coddiwomp Top Travel Tip: Slow Down, Don’t Rush

Slow Down Don't Rush.png

A Coddiwomp Top Travel Tip: Slow Down, Don’t Rush

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Okay, so you’re about to go travelling for the first time. You’re stoked, excited and after what felt like the longest wait of your life, you’re ready to go.

What’s the best advice you could receive right now, on the cusp of your first adventure?

Well, look after yourself. Have fun. Be brave and open-minded. Live adventurously. Be yourself or don’t- it’s up to you. It’s your trip- you call the shots. Call home every now and again. Make the most out of every second.

Yep. All of the above. You should absolutely keep in mind each of those things. I’ll add another though:

When you’re out there, slow down and try not to rush.

One more time: slow down, don’t rush.

Away from home, on the other side of the world, caught up in the whirlwind excitement of novel people, places, sights and sounds, it’s easy to find yourself travelling at pace. It’s totally understandable.

After all, you don’t want to miss out on anything so you spend your days desperately trying to cram new amazing experience after new amazing experience into every hour of every day, like a mental suitcase that’s one size too small.

Try to resist this temptation.

It is easy to think that it’s necessary to do absolutely everything in order to make the most of your trip. I promise you, it isn’t the case.

In fact, in my experience, unless you’re one of these frustratingly energetic people whose natural state is practically that of the Duracell bunny (I’m definitely not one of those people) the opposite is likely to happen.

 When you're travelling, slow down, take your time & rest up. I can recommend doing so in a hammock, on a beach...

When you're travelling, slow down, take your time & rest up. I can recommend doing so in a hammock, on a beach...

Rushing from one thing to another, day in day out, alongside the usual challenges of travelling, may even prevent you making the most of your travels. I think there are two main reasons why this is true.

Firstly, you burn out fast.

When you travel, tiredness rapidly sets in anyway. So novel is everything you’re doing, so much going on, so many sights, smells and other sensations all simultaneously vying for your attention that your brain and body get quickly overwhelmed. Alongside the physical strain of walking, hiking and lugging a backpack around, fatigue is a common companion for travellers.

It’s far harder to enjoy and make the most of your day when you’re knackered.

Secondly, and possibly even more detrimental to your travels, is the irony that as we rush more, we experience less. Though we may do more things and visit more places, in our hurry we end up seeing less of them.

 When you travel, don't simply rush to see and do as much as you can. To be changed by what you're doing, you need to slow down and be present.

When you travel, don't simply rush to see and do as much as you can. To be changed by what you're doing, you need to slow down and be present.

To really make the most of what you’re doing, the goal should be to remain in the present moment as much as possible. When there’s so much going on and such a felt pressure to get from one thing to the next in time for tea, our attention gets focused more on our watches and the next item on our itinerary than on what’s in front of us.

It becomes far harder to take everything in.

Remember, the exhausting, unrelenting hustle and bustle of home life need not apply here. There are no schedules, no timetables, deadlines, rules or regulations. If you travel, time becomes less of a commodity- unquestionably valuable, but in sufficient supply for you to decide how it’s spent. Generally, any time constraint or pressure is of our own making.

So, for the sake your health and your travels, try to slow down.

Take rest days, sit on benches, attend to your surroundings, people watch, laze on beaches, amble through bazaars and marketplaces, stroll through rainforests, paddle in rivers and lakes; wander slowly through historical sites; read books, write a journal, message friends and family etc etc.

One of the many luxuries afforded to you by travel is time...

...Take it.