I’ve never measured a successful trip by how many destinations I can circle on a map or check off a bucket list. To me, the best journey, and the best travel, moves more like a good conversation. It ebbs and flows. It rarely rushes, but it’s also animated and unpredictable. It is filled with banter and laughter, and it invites participants to linger rather than march forward inexorably like a tightly wound clock. Want to have dessert? A second glass of wine? A detour in a back-alley artisan’s shop? A pause at an overview by the side of the trail? Why not.
This blog builds off one I wrote over several years called France in the Slow Lane. It began during a half-year sabbatical in Aix-en-Provence, France, a beautiful city my wife, Kathy, and I explored mostly by walking. We love France and, while the posts from that blog are archived here, I’m sure there will be plenty of fresh ones from new parts of that country in the months and years ahead.
Now, however, we want the liberty to wander wherever opportunity and interest take us. As Kathy and I head into at least semi-retirement, we hope to be lacing our hiking boots more often; heading off to new countries, cities and cultures; poking around in more places and taking outings that might last a day in New England or might last a few months far from home. That is why France In the Slow Lane has become Slow Lane Travel: What’s the Hurry?
Kathy and I do much of our travel with a 10-year-old, our grand-daughter Devon, who has lived with us for several years. So this blog should serve multiple generations. Sometimes you’ll learn about our day at a modern water park or magic show rather than wandering through a cathedral or medieval ruin. No matter what your age, though, this blog is meant for those proud to consider themselves life’s dawdlers, people who make a point of pushing beyond the tourist highlights, who stay several days rather than several hours in a scenic or historical or bustling place.
If you like to meet people behind the beautiful doors of the world, come along. If you like to shop in outdoor markets, join me. If you prefer to take roads less traveled, I’ll make a point of showing you some.
And yes, I do promise to deliver plenty of practical advice. I am, however, more storyteller than purveyor of lists. I like to share pictures. I like to listen to all kinds of music, from the more formal genres found in concerts and clubs, to the songs of street musicians and the shouts of vendors in the square. I like to eat well, watch people, unearth surprises.
One last thing. This enterprise won’t work well without you, my reader and, I hope, contributor. Should you have a thought or question, let me hear it. Blogging is a two-way conversation. Please weigh in.