2020 saw our lives completely turned upside down. So many of us experienced many changes to our daily lives, routines and sense of 'normal'. Travel and tourism came to a standstill and majority of us have been confined to our suburb, city or state - if we're lucky.
If there's one thing we've learned this year it's the beauty of slowing down - with slow travel being no exception. We sat down the Lucy Ewing, Brand Experience and Events Manager at Spell to hear more about her slow travels and to get some tips!
This year has been so different for many of us. How have you adapted? Have you incorporated any new routines or practises that you’ll be taking with you into the New Year?
For the first time I really learnt the importance of slowing down. I am pretty energetic and extroverted, and such a yes girl that I always find myself swept up in adventures (which I love!), but I really cherished the opportunity to spend more time by myself and at home.
For a while we were only allowed to leave the house to exercise, and during this time my morning routine became so important to me because it completely shaped my day. Now every day starts at 5.30 with meditation, a surf, big healthy breakfast and coffee.
Recently you did a 5-week road trip where you tried to be as plastic-free as possible. What was the most challenging part of this?
To be honest – I found it quite easy! I think once you remove the pressure of trying to be perfect and just do the best you can then it feels effortless. I have been reducing plastic use across all areas of my life for many years now, so had similar habits on the road to what I do at home.
I was extra aware of my waste whilst travelling because I would have to carry everything with me! I usually find it most challenging to avoid snacks in single use plastic – like crackers and wraps, and the hidden plastics like the film on my Oat Milk carton and the plastic lid.
What’re your top three tips for people who are looking to reduce their impact on the planet when travelling this summer?
- Shop at local grocers or farmers markets to buy unpackaged fruit & veg (so important in lowering food emissions too!),
- Stock up jars and containers whenever you spot a bulk food store
- Be prepared! Take your containers, stainless steel razor, food huggers, plastic free shampoo, sunscreen, deodorant etc.
We’ve all been forced to slow down and spend more time indoors this year, which has seen a lot of people look at how they can be more sustainable at home. Do you think people will start to relook at the way they travel too?
I really hope so! I feel like collectively we’ve had an opportunity to reflect and reset this year, and I believe people realised what was really important to them. I am noticing more people connecting to nature – which is great, because it’s hard to hurt something you love. Hopefully this self awareness will continue on, and people will take better care of our beautiful Pachamama.
Sustainable travel is so much more than reducing single-use plastics, how else did you embrace the slow life when you were on the road?
By being present with the little moments – the smell of coffee on my stove top, meeting people from all walks of life, watching kangaroos jump by camp, and creating space to live in rhythm with the cycles of the sun. When we live like this, life becomes simple and that in itself is so much more sustainable.