Happy Earth Day everyone! Today is the day to feel the love for this beautiful planet we live on and to carry that love into tomorrow and the rest of our lives! <3
There are so many different ways to travel and see the world these days – planes, trains, buses, cruise ships, yachts, cars… I like to think about the earth when I’m travelling or having a holiday – how can I see the world, see places near and far, and be as earth-friendly as possible?
I am definitely a slow traveller and I enjoy experiencing places from within at my own pace. The slower the better – being in the environment and having the time to really see and enjoy it is the best way for me.
I used to be fan of hitchhiking - sharing a car with a stranger, usually travelling with a group of friends and this way cutting down travel expenses. Sharing a car is also a more eco-friendly way to travel in comparison to each traveller driving a separate car. I even travelled across Europe hitchhiking a few years a go with my husband – that was a big adventure, which I am not sure I would do again, but it was a great experience. We got to meet amazing people and see many countries, stopping wherever we wanted and taking a walk in beautiful towns, parks, river banks. Quite romantic, yet also risky and stressful at times! Definitely an adventure that is worth having :)
However, these days I am more into walking and cycling – these are the most enjoyable ways of travelling slowly for me.
There’s nothing better than feeling the ground under your feet. Probably the least harmful way of travelling to the Earth – and definitely the slowest way of doing slow tourism!
You can take a walk in the nearest forest, park, even your own neighbourhood and look around to really see what surrounds you. You can also take it further - arrange a pilgrimage of some sort!
One of the popular routes for those who love long walks in the nature is Camino de Santiago. It would require getting there at first, but once you start walking - it's all just you and nature, and beautiful little towns and villages. Some people walk the Camino for religious reasons, but nowadays many people choose this route for other reasons, often because it is truly a beautiful route spanning across three countries (France, Spain and Portugal) and breathtaking landscapes.
There's plenty of routes to choose from, and for the first walking trip I'd recommend walking the last 100km of the French Way Camino - from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella (Spain). It is often a life-changing experience that gives you time, space and beautiful environment to ponder on life and can help make important decisions.
Cycling is a great way to experience travelling slowly. It could be your daily commute - more and more cyclists are taking over city streets, which reduces pollution in the cities. Slowly. However, not every city is cycle-friendly, and the ride on a busy city street may not be the most enjoyable either.
It could be much nicer to take your bike to a quiet old town streets or outside of the city. There's just nothing like cycling in a country! Fields, hills, forests, fresh air, wind in your hair...
Best way to travel on bikes with your family and friends is to buy or rent a tandem bike. You can travel to places with your partner, friend or a family member! There’s just nothing like cycling across some fields and looking around. You are not harming the Earth while getting all the benefits of cycling - healthy, fresh air, exercise and fun. Even better to do it with a good company :)
Inspired by this way of travelling, my husband Augis designed the newest addition (special Earth Day treat!) to our Pillowlink shop - a tandem bicycle pillow. It's a great gift for someone who enjoys slow travelling and cycling.
Whichever way you travel - however fast and slow - it's worth appreciating this beautiful place we live in. We do not know how much longer it will be as it is now.
As the Earth is round, so are our routes in life – we seem to often go back to where we started. Perhaps travelling is ultimately a life-long journey to ourselves - we do need to take our time with it.
Be good to ourselves and our environment.
Much love on Earth Day!