So, you’ve booked a Slow Stay and are gearing up for some much-needed R&R, away from home and the overflowing list of endless tasks.
To make the most of your time out, it’s important to break some old habits and create some new ones, even if they only last for the getaway itself. To help you unsubscribe from the fast pace of your everyday, we’ve pulled together a list of slow travel tips to help you unplug and slow down your next getaway.
Leave Work at Work
It’s easier said than done, we know, but bringing an incomplete to-do list from work is the last thing you want when you’re trying to switch off. Instead, plan ahead and begin tying up loose ends a fortnight out from when you leave. Don’t forget to schedule the auto-reply, let colleagues know you’ll be unavailable (the word ‘unreachable’ works even better) and then follow through by leaving your laptop at home. Now, sit back, soak in nature and watch your blood pressure drop by the second…ah the serenity.
Step Away From Your Phone
No matter what you do, someone, somehow, with a not-very-important task, will find you. Intercept their opportunity to disrupt your R&R by stepping away from your phone. If you can’t bring yourself to turn it off or need to be available for emergencies (parents, we understand) then flick it to silent, shove it out of sight and do your best to check it only twice a day. Test your newfound sense of calmness by only responding to what you need to and remember, no work allowed!
Rushing through life is the norm, but we’re inviting you to bring it down a few gears to a place where multi-tasking isn’t praised, and the sole goal is to be present. To help you get in the slow zone, go and find a comfy spot at your Slow Stay—either perched amongst nature or tucked up inside by a crackling fire. Sit here and take in your surroundings along with a big, deep belly breath. Let it out, along with any leftover stresses you’ve unknowingly brought on this escape. Make time to do this for five minutes each day, returning to this very same position. We won’t call this ‘meditation’, as it puts a certain type of pressure on what it is you’re doing, so let’s just name it ‘the pause’.
Embrace The Little Rituals
Whether it’s pouring a cup of steaming leaf tea, reading a book in the dappled morning light, watching the sunset on a sustainably-built deck or devouring a body-warming whiskey by the firepit—each of these happenings can become cup-filling rituals, if you give them the presence they deserve. By taking the time to really appreciate what it is you’re doing — like, noticing the flow of the piping hot water being poured from the teapot — these little moments dotted throughout your day will become the times you look forward to the most. Once you’ve nailed it, try your best to take this new habit home with you. It really is life changing.
There’s a Norwegian saying that goes ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothes’. So do your best to pack for all types of weather and temperatures, because getting outside and exploring the surroundings of your Slow Stay is one of the best ways to unplug and reset. While it may be less stimulating than scrolling fast-paced reels on Instagram, trudging in nature activates more senses. Be awe-inspired by gushing waterfalls, breathe in the woodiness of towering gums, plunge into waterholes or trek muddy paths and come face-to-face with local wildlife. It’s a lot harder to feel overwhelmed when you’re fully experiencing the beauty and serenity of the great outdoors.
Engage With The Local Community
Without your head bowed down over a screen, it’s likely you’ll encounter more smiling faces and friendly locals who want to have a chat. Rather than avoiding interaction so that you’re not late to the ‘next thing’, slow down, remember where you are and take the time to engage if somebody says “hello” at the local coffee spot or community market. By being present and interested, you might hear a story about the history of where you’re staying or find out about a secret spot worth visiting that’s far from the beaten tourist track; it’s a win-win for everyone.