Slow Travel

Holidays are about relaxing, experiencing and understanding a new destination. Holidays are about spending time by the beach or along side a river somewhere with family, friends or the annoying people in the campsite next door.

With this in mind the trend towards fly in holidays is a curious one which I can’t help but feel looses some of the magic. So often I hear friends getting back from a “break” saying they are tired and ready for another holiday.

Recently my girlfriend and I cycled around Tasmania, which took a month and saw us travelling a whole 70kms between towns each day. To many people this may seem like taking a slow-travel to an extreme, but when grey nomads who have been on the road for 12 1/2 years are sad they can’t see things are slowly and thoroughly as us you have to think there is a problem.

Now I am the first to admit that a quick trip down to Melbourne for the weekend is a pleasant thing, especially when it is to see friends. But going to a city, seeing the three or four major attractions and then sitting in an airport surely isn’t an effective or sustainable way to travel. Each year Australians make hundreds of thousands of air trips for the sole purpose of a holiday. Some who don’t have to have a holiday may even go on a “mini-break” to escape the stress of work by sitting in an airport, aeroplanes and taxis. Oh the joy.

Surely a weekend at the beach, or in the Blue Mountains with a leisurely stroll down a bush track, some suitable accommodation and good coffee is more relaxing. Especially if there is good food with the coffee.

With dozens of campsites, B&Bs an cabins around every city in Australia perhaps it is time people thought more about the opportunities for a weekend away close to home rather than contributing to the ultimately unsustainable mode of transport/recreation that is air travel based mini-breaks.

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