My first real attempt at travel was in 1988. I was twenty years old. My then boyfriend and I left Scotland intending to work our way around Europe. After six weeks or so in Basingstoke and a couple of months camping on the channel island of Jersey, we’d saved little more than the cost of the flights back to Scotland, and so our European adventure came to an earlier than expected end.

On the Banks of the Seine

On the Banks of the Seine

This time around I’m hoping things will pan out differently.

I’ve been slow travelling with my partner Sean M. Madden since May 2012, after we gave up our rented apartment in Lewes, England. Unlike many people whose children have grown up and left home, we didn’t own a house or have vast savings. But as we both wanted to live a less static existence, we decided to throw caution to the wind and embark upon a slow travel journey around Europe, adopting as our motto Lao Tzu’s words:

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.”

Sean & Widget the Cat

Sean © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias

Thus far, we’ve spent time in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales.

Slow travelling suits us. We both enjoy getting to know places, the nooks and crannies, and how one part of town connects with another. We like to dig deeper and discover the less obvious treasures, be they cafés frequented by locals or a great pizza restaurant that’s tucked away on the outskirts of town.

For some travel inspiration, as well as to read more about slow travel, check out the links below.

Travel Blogs Worth Visiting

hidden europe Berlin-based editorial bureau that focuses on cultures and communities in Europe. Publishers of hidden europe magazine (see below).

Legal Nomads (Where culture, food & travel intersect) by former lawyer from Montreal, Jodi Ettenberg

Nomadic Matt (Travel better, cheaper, longer) Excellent traveller’s resource by Bostonian, Matt Kepnes

Slow Travel Europe by the founders of hidden europe magazine, Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries