"They will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man,

no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being." 

- Alain De Botton

As I look on my own experiences, somehow that ‘thing’ has teased me to write another sequel article from my previous Rush and Details Philosophy. The art of traveling slow, or in other words, an effort to get more attentions during traveling - to befriend with time and details.

Indeed there are many type of travellers and certainly it is not my intention to judge who is right or wrong. But if I just look myself on several years back, I would be one of those who’d like to visit as many tourism spots as possible within one destination which I directed to.

Basically, these are what I did during that holiday session:

  1. Set the destination and assign how many days I would be there in each spot.

  2. Collect the info of all the beaches, hills, or any kind of tourism spots on that area as much as possible.

  3. On D-day, I visit all those places at once, take photos and checked each one of them whenever I completed reaching there. Leave immediately so I can head to the next spot.

  4. Finish my holiday and end up wrecked.

But, C’mon! Is it wrong if I just want to maximise my effort to visit all of the tourism spots there? Because maybe I won't be there again for any other time so I just want to go all out when I have the chance.

 

Above statement is pretty much the justification that I made last time. I repeat it again, there is no such right or wrong way to do traveling. It is up to you to make the call. But personally for me, I give up to do the above type after facing below issues:

  • It is my holiday, but seems like this would be another same kind of ‘catching deadline’ game. Yeah, I have schedule to follow, amount of destinations that I shall meet and a kind of ‘sad/frustration’ feeling if I fail to meet such target. This type of experience is about the same for what I felt back in office hours.

 

  • If I took a photograph, I end up to take the same postcard view. Often, I only have about 30 minutes or so in a single destination so I don't have much time to explore and just take a same exact picture of what other tourists have done previously. Sadly sometimes, I only do this as a formality so I will have a proof if I've visited this destination.

 

  • End up exhausted and wrecked by the time my holiday finished. Sometimes, I feel the urge to take another 1 day time-off so I can just fully rest in my house before getting to the office. Then it suddenly appears in my mind, "what the hell those holiday for if my current state is just becoming worse than before the departure?"

Seriously, that kind of holiday is pretty famous nowadays and well presented by an ads like “All-in EuroTrip in 2 weeks” or “Explore Bali in 3 days”. Is it another holiday version of rat race?

Because Borobudur is not just merely a Borobudur Temple

Feeling forced to make a change, I try to be much more slower during vacation - to appreciate my time a little bit more - and to accomplish the essential idea of the holiday in the first place; which is to gain a full relaxation.

 

At this time, I tend to spend more days on a single destination so either I would have a full-day rest or to have more chances to explore that spot. I try as hard as possible to eliminate my ‘rush-mindset’ which has been gnawing deep in my subconscious. You can call me as a lazy traveller because I am indeed a lazy one.

 

If it is not a day for hunting a sunrise shot, I would get up really late from bed and afterwards, I just end up reading books in nearby cafe. And if I think that the time is just right, I would go out to explore the place randomly and tend to spend hours in one destination just to get the best value it can offer.

 

During that time, I dont have specific duration for how many days I would spend on that location. Everything just goes with the flow. Even the next destination I will set is sometimes entirely depend on what locals have suggested me. Thereby, I feel so independent and somehow I could experience a rare feeling that finally I have a total control on my life. There is no schedule to follow, target to meet, or people to entertain to. Then by diminishing my rush habit, I can obtain below benefits which I have been expecting to from my holiday:

If I say a Full Relaxation, I truly mean it as A Full Relaxation

Gaining a Full Relaxation

I spent 3 days in Segara Anak Lake and around 3 days as well in Gili Trawangan only to do nothing besides reading books and walk aimlessly. You can argue that everyone can also read books in their own house. You are correct, but can you hear the waves pounding sound during that reading session? or smelling the forest scent? or experiencing a warm smile from the local waiter while she was serving you a fresh coconut? Only during these days as well that I feel a lot of ideas or hunches or inspirations - or anything you want to call - suddenly appear within my sights to answer my daily issues. And by doing this, I can feel a total refreshed and I dont need any additional 1 day time-off in my house before getting to the office.

 

You were there for one day only to visit its beautiful beach - then, some locals told you that there is an awesome underground pond inside a cave nearby. I'd say F*it, extend my hotel for 1 more day and go there immediately!

Nurture your excitement - prevent boredom

Happiness is an excitement and the act of happiness is how you nurture such excitement. 

And i think it is fair enough to say that the opposite side of happiness is boredom

Boredom will hit you when you know exactly where you are going, as excitement is tend to be represented by surprises. Be flexible on your holiday plan so it is still possible to afford some shakes. You will need to know where is your end destination, but let the flow dictates you while you’re in the process to get there.  An in-depth-well-prepared plan is only good for your working hours.

To kill boredom, sometimes you need to let the uncertainty guides you.

Look around and pay attention. Because everything will never be going the same again.

Get a better perspective - be a master of details

When there is no time limitation, no deadline or schedule to follow, then that is the moment when you can be fully opened for any possibilities - in term of perspective, view, story or any unique things on regards to the destination you are currently in. 

To be honest, I even prefer to visit a well-know destination or a place where people call it as “the mainstream one” so I could explore the untouched-side. It is true that there are countless of visitors ever been there before, but those new perspectives are always available to explore simply because many of them did not pay enough attention.

My main objective might be to reach Rinjani's Summit. However, since I provide myself with another 3 days just to roam around, I met & trade stories to a group of ascetics who were already there for 1 week.

This is another kind of experience that you will never encounter if you just only stick with your own main plan.

Create a good story

Somehow I found out that the most unforgettable traveling experiences that I had are not due to the awesomeness of the destination, but it is because the people by whom I have met along the way.

Kanawa island in Flores is mesmerising, but the reason why that experience really sticks well in my memory is because at one night, all the hotel’s guests are sitting round the table and each of us sharing our own life stories.

Bromo landscapes and Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls are damn stunning, but what makes me love them even more is because I met locals who kindly provide me shelter, food and stories while I was there.

Those are only a few fragments of how the social bonding between people can significantly improve your traveling experiences. The point is, how could it is possible for you to acquire such warmth if you limit yourself around 30 minutes in one spot? Again, Because a good travel is not about reaching the destination.

Good travel yields good story.

Before I finish this article, I read a massively stunning poet which was written by David L Weatherford. This poet has touched me as it has touched one of my idol author (Timothy Ferriss).

Hope that it can touch you as well and keep reminding you about how important your time is.

 

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,

or listened to rain slapping the ground?

 

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight,

or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

 

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,

time is short, the music won't last.

 

 

Do you run through each day on the fly,

when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?

 

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,

with the next hundred chores running through your head?

 

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,

time is short, the music won't last.

 

 

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow,

and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

 

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,

'cause you never had time to call and say hi?

 

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,

time is short, the music won't last.

 

 

When you run so fast to get somewhere,

you miss half the fun of getting there.

 

When you worry and hurry through your day,

it's like an unopened gift thrown away.

 

Life isn't a race, so take it slower,

hear the music before your song is over.