By Norire Arakelyan

What is slow travel?

Having taken the world by storm in recent years, the trend of slow travel is most certainly here to stay. But what exactly is it, what's so great about it and how can you experience it on your next trip?

Put simply, slow travel is a philosophy of travel that emphasises immersion and connection over speed and check-list sightseeing. If you're engaging in slow travel, you're more likely to stay in one place for longer periods of time, getting to know the local culture, food, and people in a deeper way. And, when it comes to modes of transportation, the key is often something which allows you to both relax and engage in thoughtful exploration in equal measure. But, it's not just about the mode of transport you choose for your itinerary – it's about how you engage with the world as you move through it.

Why choose slow travel?

There are plenty of reasons why slow travel has been trending with the modern day traveller. Principally, it can serve to be the escape from the everyday stresses of life which we often crave and envisage when planning a holiday in the first place. It's both immersive enough to be engaging and laid-back enough to provide an escape. When we slow down, we open up more time to develop deeper connections with the world around us, giving more meaning to the every day pleasures that surround us. You can also learn about local customs and traditions, and develop a better understanding of the culture.

In this case it's the beauty of the scenery, culture, food, traditions and experiences which travel offers, such as savouring the taste of homemade Bún bò Huế in Vietnam while enjoying a friendly chat with the local vendor, or even something as simple as paddling a canoe down a Norwegian fjord as you clear your mind – often experiences which are overlooked for quick hollow pleasures such as taking that instagram-worthy shot in front of Pisa's Leaning Tower or rushing around Venice trying to tick off as many "must-see" sites as possible.

How can I experience slow travel?

In our quest for efficiency, we often overlook the journey itself. This can be just as, if not, the most significant part of a travel experience. One of the best ways to experience slow travel is by embarking on a luxury rail journey. Leisure rail travel offers a refreshing escape from the "get there quick" mentality. It allows us to truly appreciate the art of travel, transforming the journey itself into a memorable experience. Think winding your way through the diverse landscapes of Malaysia aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express, appreciating the passing scenery with a glass of wine, before engaging in authentic encounters with local passionate artisans who unveil unique insights into contemporary and ancient cultures.

Another great way to embrace slow travel is by ocean or river cruise. It goes without saying that in order to appreciate the most fascinating places on earth, you need to allow yourself plenty of time; and luxury cruising offer the perfect platform with which to do this. You could appreciate the fine indulgences of a Uniworld river cruise along northern Italy's waterways as you embrace and absorb new and unique experiences, or finding small pleasure in the sound of lapping waves and morning birdsong as you sail along the fertile banks of the Nile.

Whether it's a luxury cruise, a legendary rail journey, a carefully curated road trip, or even a collection of "slower" experiences as part of a longer itinerary, slow travel is not just a new, more thoughtful way to travel, but a brilliant way to reconnect and create lasting memories.