Travel Slow, Pay Attention

Posted by Bill Steiner – Adventures in Italy

Our Daily Lives

Our Daily Lives

Eckhart Tolle in “A New Earth” points out that “A short attention span makes all your perceptions and relationships shallow and unsatisfying. Whatever you do, whatever action you perform in that state, lacks quality, because quality requires attention.”

The members of Slow Travel Tours believe in “Slow Travel” which is a way of visiting other countries that allows you to pay attention.  One of the things I love most about our trips is that there slowly creeps into all of us a deeper, more fulfilling way of being. It isn’t prescribed or orchestrated. It is simply a part of the “magic” of slowing your pace and beginning to pay attention to your senses.

The sad truth is that we don’t pay attention today. Everyone multi-tasks because there is so much to do, so much pressure. Pressure come from a variety of sources, and we can debate whether they are self imposed in some way or not. Regardless, we are at risk of completely missing life because we fill it up with busyness.

We members of Slow Travel Tours are intent on traveling differently from the way we live at home. So many people when they travel are as busy as at home. They race from one site to the next, frantically taking pictures to record the memory.

Those of us at Slow Travel Tours travel to see, to pay attention. It is unbelievably satisfying to take time to truly experience and get to know a place and its people.

Sunset in Orvieto, Italy

Sunset in Orvieto, Italy

Many have forgotten what it is like to savor the qualities of someplace different:

… to linger over a meal

… to take in all the nuance of a setting sun

… to listen to the calming peal of bells

… to marvel at the artistry of medieval construction

… to delight in the simple flavors of a carefully prepared meal

… to live deeply using all your senses, breathing it in so satisfyingly.

One of the benefits of this mode of travel is that it gives you perspective. It is not easy to return home and begin to live a little less frantically. But a slow travel trip interrupts your day-to-day busyness, allowing you to consider and reflect on the pace of life at home. It could very possibly be the first step in moving towards a slower, more satisfying life, to beginning to pay attention.

Join one of us and savor the joys of traveling slow!

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Simoneta showing Kristi and Bill items from her woodworking shop in Orvieto

Simoneta showing Kristi and Bill items from her woodworking shop in Orvieto

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.

Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy at his blog Make Haste Slowly.

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