Inspiration

Which is Better, Slow Travel or Country Counting?

I’ve seen several bloggers around the internet engaging in discussion as to whether slow travel or country counting is the better way to do things and I wanted to weigh in with my opinions on the matter.

Here’s the thing…there is no “best” way to travel. What is best for one person may not be best for another person. Some people like sipping piña coladas by a pool at a resort, while others might like tromping through the jungle for days on end with nothing but a backpack full of provisions. Some people might get a thrill out of checking famous landmarks off their list, while others enjoy simply sitting at a sidewalk cafe for hours on end, watching the world go by. There is no right or wrong way to travel. The only right way to travel is to do it in the way that makes you happiest.

The way that makes YOU happiest.

Who cares what other people think? Does it matter if some “off the grid” traveler who only likes experiences they deem to be “authentic” scoffs at your family trip to Disney World? It doesn’t matter one bit. That being said, I do love a good list of pros and cons, as I think it helps to analyze what exactly it is that is good and bad about a thing. So, without further adieu, I give you my pros and cons of slow travel vs. country counting. You decide which one you think is best.

Slow Travel

Pros

  • Slow travel can be cheaper (it’s easier to get deals on longer term stays than a night here or there at a hotel, plus you’ll be purchasing less flights).
  • Slow travel allows you to get to know a place a lot better. When you really spend time in a place, you get to know it and its’ people pretty well.
  • Traveling slowly allows you to learn new things. You can take a cooking class, or a dance class, and get to know some locals.
  • You can make friends traveling slowly. The more time you spend with somebody, the better chance to make new friends.
  • You’ll feel more rested if you travel slowly.

Cons

  • You’re not going to see as many places in your lifetime if you travel this way.
  • It can be exhausting to constantly be on the road.
  • You’re not going to make as many connections with the people you meet.
  • There’s probably a lot you’re going to miss in each destination you visit.

Country Counting

Pros

  • You’re going to get a taste of a lot more places. You’ll see more wonders of the world and experience more cultures the more places you visit.
  • It would sound really impressive when you tell people how many different places you’ve been.
  • You’ll get a sense of which places you would like to see more of. You can always go back and spend more time there, later.
  • If it turns out you don’t really much care for a place, you won’t have to spend a lot of time there.
  • You’ll build memories in all corners of the world.

Cons

  • It’s probably going to cost you a lot more money in the long run. If you’re constantly booking hotel rooms and plane tickets, that will add up…quite a bit.
  • You’re never going to feel a huge connection with any of the places you visit. You won’t have enough time to build that connection.
  • You’re going to get really tired traveling at such a fast pace.

What do you think? What kind of traveler are you? I think I fall definitely into the slow travel category. I want to see all that the world has to offer, but on the other hand, I really enjoy relaxing and staying a while, and that always seems to be what wins when it comes down to it.

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6 replies »

  1. I’m a slow traveler, for sure. But I see the advantages to visiting a lot of places. Like you said, a person has to do what’s best for her. The main thing is to take an open mind wherever you go! 🙂

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  2. I always love to read about people’s opinions on slow travel. I’m a slow traveller for sure as I’ve made travel into my livestyle, but I still take shorter trips and holidays when the occasion arises, so I am a bit of both. As you say, there is no right or wrong to this; encouraging people to find a method of travel their comfortable with that suits their budget, time and purpose is the important thing I reckon!

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