I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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The future of travel is slow…but in a good way. 

Ever travel to someplace new and come back realizing you need a vacation from your vacation? Or that you’ve seen and done so many things but can’t seem to remember one that really impacted you? That made you see the world differently?

Introducing the new way to travel: slow travel.

The concept of slow travel isn’t new, but when we think of our instant-gratification-driven world, it’s often forgotten.

Now before you think that traveling slow means you need to physically move slower or that you need to go anti-tech and not bring your phone or laptop with you (like I tend to do), or that you have to stay in one place for over a week to travel slowly, know that pursuing a slow travel lifestyle is a mindset.

It’s a more relaxed and sustainable approach to traveling that requires you to be more present in the enjoyment and growth that comes with traveling.

This more intentional way of traveling is not about how many museums you’ve seen or if you have time to eat at all the best cafes seen on Instagram.

Slow travel excels and celebrates simplicity. 

Slow travel is about traveling at your own pace, rather than rushing through it just to “see” things and “do” things.

It’s about making a new place your home.

It’s about going deeper in your experiences and being more conscious and connected with the places and people around you.

We all know those people that race through countries just to say they’re able to check it off their bucket list. But slow travel is doing the opposite. 

And understanding a place and its pace culture isn’t possible when you’re rushing from postcard view to Instagram pic.

Because slow travel is about being, not doing. 

And slowing down our travels leads to greater reflection and introspection. We come home feeling changed, grown and rejuvenated… as we’ve truly learned something important. 

How to Travel Slow and with Intention 

Here are some practical ways that I travel slow and with intention…

  • Instead of buying souvenirs for every member of your family, take a polaroid of a memorable experience, and watch the print develop. Give it to them with a memory written along with it!
  • I also love to buy postcards to places I’ve been to and write in detail of a singular memory or two that deeply enriched my experience before dropping it in the mailbox to a person I love!
  • Instead of eating at a touristy restaurant in the center of the city, engage in conversation with a local and ask them where they like to eat. Chances are, it’s the best meal in town.

With COVID here for the potential long-term, I imagine flying will be far less common, and driving to new places will be the new preferred choice. 

  • The next time you’re off planning a trip, consider going on a local road trip with friends or family to somewhere close. Maybe it’s a small town you’ve never explored or perhaps it’s a local city trip to a museum you’ve always meant to make time for.
  • Instead of booking hotels and staying in close proximity to other guests, book homestays, and Airbnbs. 

And most importantly, take a few moments in your day to really….look around.

Admire what has been built, observe what has been planted.

future of slow travel in a Paris France park

The joys and privileges to be able to travel somewhere new is so great. What an honor to experience it.

What a joy to travel!

Don’t take it for granted. Instead, appreciate it, savor it, and travel slow. 

The Future of Slow Travel

Traveling slow has made me see the world differently. My heart has softened, my mind expanded, my soul lighter. It’s changed my perspective greatly and it’s brought me a whole lot more joy than those trips where I rushed and crammed too many sights and activities in.

It’s made me appreciate the present moment more fully. It’s taught me the art of surrender, and how to soften my preferences to allow for more adventure in my life! 

girl in white dress living a slow travel lifestyle

When I travel slow, I have more opportunities to meet people and to learn their stories. Connecting with others, especially in places that are so different from my own, always benefits me. I walk away more humble, more compassionate and more open-minded. 

So, my friend, if you’re worried that the future of travel will look different, know that it will. But in a good way. 

The future of travel is slow, more sustainable, and it opens us up to those hidden treasures of presence and appreciation.

Plus, having something positive to look forward to in the future, even if it’s far off in the distance, gives us more joy…right here and right now. 

Hugs!

Helena 🙂

Follow My Slow Life in France

Curious for more words from me? I am starting a small email list for those joyful spirits who’d like to receive love notes from me directly via email about slow living and simple joys here! Once every few weeks, I’ll send an email about the small appreciations and quiet delight I’m noticing and learning about in the world and hopefully spread that joy, light and goodness on to you! 🙂 

Join My Email List to Receive Love Notes here!

If you’d like to watch more of my films on slow living and my intentional life in France, feel free to follow along via Youtube and subscribe to the Simple Joys channel!

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The Future of Travel is Slow…but in a Good Way. Here’s Why.

September 24, 2020

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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