More idle chatter….
The Idle Traveller by Dan Kieran
“….if you find yourself heading in the opposite direction to most of the people around you it’s usually a sign you’re going a more interesting way.”
Whilst reading The Idle Traveller, here at this quote was one of the many moments I paused, and really pondered on that Kieran was saying. There’s a mantra for life in that quote, many mantras.
So far, I haven’t tired of hearing other people’s thoughts and stories around slow travel. What’s slow for you might still seem a little hurried regimented for someone else – we all have our thresholds depending on the time, place and how we’re feeling.
Capture the moment
Another thing Kieran said that resonated with me was about holiday photographs. In fact he was saying exactly the same thing I’d been saying to someone in recent conversation, uncanny.
Years of taking photographs has taught me that they don’t really capture the memories at all, not much. Photographs don’t recount the five senses, feelings, the thoughts and recollections before, after and during the moment the picture was taken, the people you met, the conversations you had and subtle observations you made along the way – but journals do.
Writing up each day’s events, pouring out all of your thoughts, even making notes at opportune moments throughout each day – like a ‘dear diary’ entry…..then add a bit of blogging to the mix – months and years later, these layers all bring back quite an intense sense of ‘being there’ compared to just a few photographs.
On this basis, I’m slowly transferring a lot of my photographs, journal entries and blog bits into photo books with text ( I’m a huge fan of these), they make great coffee table books as well. It’s a slow process, very time consuming but a great back up to keeping things online or in digital format, and easier to share with others (in person) on the spur.
Back to the book – In The Idle Traveller Kieran shared lots of memoirs of his slow travels, but I skimmed some of this and enjoyed the bits outside this more, where he reflects on the approaches and psychology behind slow travel.
This one is quite a nice book to read on a beach, while you’re already in a frame of mind that’s more receptive to the themes of slow travel and getting a quality experience from your time away….helped by more leanings toward spontaneity, simplicity, going with the flow and just immersing in the act of savouring each moment without any rush or distraction.
Kieran rightly points out that the slower you travel, the longer you feel you’ve been away by the time you get home, This is so true. I remember one time I went to Greece for one week and felt like I’d been away for two weeks – simply because I hadn’t been rushing around trying to ‘do everything’ and fill every day with a schedule of ‘things to do and places to go’. Instead, there was a lot more idle wandering and just soaking up the feeling of being there, the little things.
It’s tricky sometimes – when you want to do as much as you can whilst away, sometimes you just have to decide which way to tip or balance the scales.
Feeling exhausted and needing another break as soon as you return home from a break may be a measure of how slow you’ve travelled.
The Idle Traveller explores theses themes far more deeply than this though, including the very concept of time, and the workings of the left and right side of the brain and which sides are dominating a trip and why – the more creative right side of the brain being more dominant when in slow travel mode etc.
All very interesting…… ✨
Best wishes for the week ahead, wherever you are 💫