Slow Travel

I’ve just spent the morning reading some electronic magazines. I love e-books and e-magazines. They are such a great idea for world travellers who can’t lug books and mags across continents. Anyway, I’m reading a US News & World Report issue from a few weeks ago that discusses Summer vacations. Evidently, Americans only take about 8 days of vacation per year, while Europeans take 20 to 25.

Americans!! My people!! What are you thinking??? This American has taken….hmm…it’s kind of embarrassing…42 days, and the year ain’t over yet.  Smiley (Sheepish grin) Of course, when you make the decision to live overseas – perhaps in a developing or third world country – frequent trips is just a part of the package, a way of surviving in environments that are not always about luxury, comfort and joy.

I understand the worth ethic in America. I have this affliction myself. When I am working – I am working. Which inevitably leads to a great deal of stress. I don’t like stress. I must de-stress. Thus the need for frequent vacations. It actually leads to better health and improved productivity. I saw some statistics recently in Foreign Policy magazine which demonstrated that Japan – where the people work like 18 hours a day, had low productivity. And, are you ready for this America? France had higher productivity than America.

So, in an effort to increase productivity and improve health in America, can I suggest to all you Americans out there, take a vacation. But not just any kind of vacation. You need to practice Slow Travel! (Kind of like the slow food movement.) I love this movement. I have fully embraced slow travel and I think you should, too. According to this Slow Travel website, this means that you should stay in one place for a week, rent a house or apartment, or at least base yourself in a hotel room, and explore leisurely the surrounding areas. No group travel. No “It’s Monday it must be London” type travel. Don’t stress yourself out more on your vacation – vacation is a time to relax. (And no, relax is not a dirty word!!)

So that is my rant for the day.

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