Travel, travel for leisure, is a wonderful way to gain all kinds of perspective. And when the travel takes you to a foreign land, where things are much more different than travel at home, the perspective gaining takes on added intensity, depth, and understanding.
When we travel slow, unburdened by many deadlines, and detailed, complex itineraries to follow, we gain perspective on life and how we live it. It can be restorative. It’s why we travel to the beach or mountains or retreat locations – as a way to slow down and recharge. It is exactly what many in our busy society crave, indeed probably need.
Combine a slow trip with one in a foreign land and I think you amplify the benefits of both leisure travel and slow travel. For, you experience your host country more deeply and draw the contrasts more strongly, giving yourself a level of perspective and thought you would not normally receive.
With that in mind, I wanted to place here a little writing I found about 10 years ago which I found thought provoking and worthy of contemplation. It is not so much to consume now, but perhaps on your next slow trip overseas. It is something to tuck away and pull out to add to the character and depth of that next trip. It was written in the 19th century by a relatively obscure person named William Henry Channing. He was a Unitarian minister. But he was also a writer and philosopher.
The entire piece is worth noting. But what has always struck me, for some reason is “hurry never”. Seems to fit our Slow Travel Tours!
“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is my symphony.”
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.
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.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.