Award-winning writer and journalist Penny Watson has travelled the world and written countless articles for newspapers and magazines. Her latest book Slow Travel is a beautiful and practical guide to those looking to experience travel at a gentle pace to connect with the places as well as themselves in the process.
The book is packed with inspiration from tips and insider knowledge to fantastic trip ideas, tours and experiences; including the Camino de Santiago, of course.
“Slow Travel is the antithesis of these overcrowded tourist hot spots and tired checklist experiences; rather, it emerges from our longing to seek connection with ourselves and our lives in more intense and meaningful ways,” explains Penny.
“I’ve been a professional travel writer for 13 years, and when I look back over the myriad journeys I’ve been fortunate enough to venture on, the slow travel experiences have been the ones that stand out the most. Though I didn’t realise it at the time, experiences such as climbing to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan, canoe-camping down the Katherine River in Australia’s northern territory and watching polar bears in their natural environment on Canada’s icy tundra, truly tapped into a need to rewind and recharge while learning a little bit about myself and the world around me.”
She admits it can be challenging to travel in the modern world, where we can all be easily lured by fast planes, cheap airlines and last minute deals.
“Now more than ever, our connectedness to the digital world – as groundbreaking and illuminating as it is, speaks to the need to find connections outside of our everyday lives. If we can tune into our slow zone while travelling, we can return to our lives rejuvenated and ready for the next step,” she adds. “In this fast-paced world, it’s worth adjusting your vacation time to a pace we can all strive to keep up with.”
What is Slow Travel?
Similarly to the Slow Food or Slow Fashion movements… the philosophy behind Slow Travel focuses on making more sustainable decisions as travellers and as a result, enjoying travel experiences that are more meaningful. It is more about quality than quantity, less about ticking ‘must-sees’ off your list and more about engaging with the world around us and what we get from that trip so it is more rewarding.
Opting for destinations and trails less travelled, immersing yourself culturally in the places you visit (learn about the history of the place, practice a few words in the local language, talk to the locals…), as well as ‘switching off’ your screens and undergoing a temporary ‘digital detox’ are three important steps that bring us closer to the concept of Slow Travel.
“WHEREVER YOU GO, GO WITH ALL YOUR HEART” – CONFUCIUS
About Penny Watson
Award-winning writer, journalist and author Penny Watson has travelled the world, written feature articles for countless magazines and newspapers, and researched a number of guidebooks. As her career has evolved so has Penny’s yearning for slow travel. She is a member of both the British Guild of Travel Writers and Australian Society of Travel Writers. She currently resides in Melbourne with her partner Pippy and their two children Digby and Etienne.
For more information about our Camino de Santiago routes or to book your trip, contact our travel experts