Sitting down by the cafe, and watching life pass by, I begin writing this piece of work as my mind tune out from the present to relive my adventures.
I sat by the villa of Chiang Khong, writing about the story of the sunrise, I sat by the plane, writing stories about its flight and how it whisked me away. The list goes on and I’m sure you have your own fair share of adventures. I wrote about sunsets and sunrises as I to paint their beauty with poetry. I tried personifying cities that I'd been, by giving them personality, dialogues, and memories that would stay with me forever. But how many of them could you possibly relived fully, and truly?
Traveling slow doesn’t mean that you wake up at 10 am feeling grouchy and lethargic because you just disrupt your sleep cycle. Traveling slow means that you get up early, freshen up and unplug and you squeezed into the trains/bus with the locals while you try to embed yourself into the culture and lives of the cities/towns.
Traveling slow doesn’t mean sitting at the cafe recounting your shopping hauls and giving yourself that pat for the number of clothes you’d bought. (Maybe you deserve that pad from the bargaining war. Yea you do) Traveling slow would have meant sitting down in a cafe, writing your stories and maybe even sharing the story with the person who’s next to you that you don’t even know.
Traveling slow doesn’t mean brushing people off just because they are lost and you’re afraid to help them and you spend time trying to get a local to help instead. Traveling slow is definitely about making new friends on the road, getting lost together while you guys scratch your heads on bewilderment and laughing it off as you recount that tale years later with them as you told your own friends how you guys met.
Traveling slow doesn’t paying that little extra to get a ride up to the peak and be glad you clocked that extra time for taking that priceless ootd. It doesn’t mean going up just for the sake of instastories or getting that cover photo for your Facebook album cover. Traveling slow is taking that long extra hiking route that you were contemplating previously but only to find it extra rewarding when you’re taking the prideful pants at the peak, overseeing your fruits of labor.
Traveling slow is staying at a place longer than you should because you’ll get to see more, you’ll pick up the little things that most people don’t, and those things are as pricelessly precious. Traveling slow is to immerse yourself in the culture instead of that using traveling as a glorified adventure. Traveling slow is having more stories in your pockets than things.
And for that, you should maybe take a step back, and instead of rushing from places to places for the glamor of social media, try to take a moment, hold a breath just for that place, and let it sink in, and run into your veins. Instead of doing a (as I call it) “Gram and Scram”, take that extra moment uniquely for yourself, run your fingers through your synapses and be aware of all the little things and emotions. You’ll breathe the essence, you’ll feel it’s the vibe with your eyes close, and remember them. Write, Record the white noise, take more photos if it helps.
Future you, sitting by the couch would smile a little wider, when you go through those recordings, run your fingers through the album, and as you closed your eyes, those moments would be more vivid. Alittle more intense.
And you’ll thank yourself for it.