Change – and Being Slow

We – Kristi and Bill – started Adventures in Italy 15 years ago. It has grown and evolved over the years, and has always been an affair of the heart. This year, 2017 is going to be our last. It has been a joy and truly an adventure, but it is time for us to step aside.

We are so pleased that Michelle Logue, who has traveled with us 3 times, is stepping in to continue our tradition. Michelle will be joining us this year as we introduce her to what we do and to the incredible cadre of passionate local experts with whom we partner in Orvieto.

Michelle has trips lined up for 2018, both spring and fall. If you can’t join us this year, but would like to do an Adventures in Italy trip in the future visit Michelle’s website, www.adventuresinitaly.ca where you can learn more about her and her exciting plans for the future.


In reflecting over the 15 years we have been leading trips to sweet Orvieto and the many changes we have seen, one change, particularly from the standpoint of Slow Travel, stands out to me: the never ending advance of technology that connects us more and more easily.

Statue in Orvieto’s Duomo

When we began our adventures, you would arrive at a foreign destination, search for an “internet cafe”, pay the exorbitant rate to send the quick message home that you had arrived safely. That was it, save for postcards sent until you returned home and were able to call from your home phone.

Goodness how things have changed. Now, from the moment we arrive, nay, from the time we leave our house on the way to the airport we are connected – constantly updating everyone through social media, cell phone, text. Yes we search out wifi – ubiquitous and free – to save on data charges but that is the one concession we make to 24/7 connectivity.

Layers in Italy are fabulous and everywhere

I have grudgingly accepted this, for, truly, what choice do I have? I believe this change represents a loss in the quality of the travel experience. No longer are people focused on the wonderful sites, sights, differences, eye openers, magic that is so much a part of travel – particularly to a foreign land. Their devices stand between them and an incredibly beautiful experience.

To be fair, slowly over the course of a week, people seem to connect less and less with their devices and more and more with the place and experience. They actually do begin to realize they are in a wonderfully different place and to pay more attention. And I truly believe that this is one of the great benefits of Slow Travel, though people may not realize it. By staying put, by being immersed in a place you can’t help but take it in more fully, experience it more deeply, appreciate the differences, similarities and uniqueness that a foreign place provides.

Italian markets – so fresh, so colorful

“Accept change and you accept life” is something I ascribe to. For the most part I do accept, not that I can’t be a bit grumpy about this change in travel!

I’ll post one or two more times before turning our spot over to Michelle. It has been a pleasure being associated with this fine group of people and the businesses they run at Slow Travel Tours – all slow at heart! Cheers.

 


Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations” to Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Through Adventures in Italy they provide a cultural immersion experience. Many trips include the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complements and reinforces exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enable Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets.

Trips are held in May and September/October every year. Their Discover Orvieto and Taste of Orvieto trips are available to groups any time of the year.

Learn more about Kristi and Bill’s trips. Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy on his blog Make Haste Slowly. View Bill’s photos of Italy, Orvieto, and other memorable places at steinerstudiophotos.com, and follow him on Instagram.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.

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