Slow travel is a whole new way of exploring the world, it is about taking your time and connecting with local people. Overall, it is about having a positive impact on the local community rather than a negative one. Additionally, it involves trying to organise a more sustainable journey to your destination, for example, taking a train rather than a plane. It can also mean staying in one place for longer periods of time.
Slow travel is already prevalent in Europe with many remote workers spending a month at a time in different European countries. Furthermore, the fantastic opportunity to use interrail passes also encourages slow travel by train throughout the continent. However, is slow travel truly possible in other parts of the world?
Ways to Slow Travel Around the Caribbean Islands
In the Caribbean, there are a few great options to carry out slow travel. Firstly, one of the best options is to stay in the Caribbean for a longer period. For example, you can spend 12 weeks volunteering in Grenada through WorkingAbroad’s Sea Turtle Volunteer Project.
This type of project also has a positive impact on the local community by contributing to ocean conservation in Grenada. You can even join our Ocean Spirits programme and then opt to take the short ferry (rather than plane) to our Reef Buddy project on our combo programme in Grenada! On both these islands, there is also the chance to try some island hopping and visit smaller, more remote and untouched islands around the Caribbean. Here you can hang up a hammock and enjoy the peace and natural beauty with a few friends, something you wouldn’t be able to do without the power of boat travel.
As suggested above, when moving around the islands one of the best options can be to take a ferry rather than fly, lowering your carbon footprint. For some even more sustainable travel within the islands, some great ways to get around are by bike and using public transport. These methods of travel usually also allow you to explore the Island more as they usually offer fantastic views and scenery. On these islands where infrastructure may not be as advanced as other travel destinations, using bikes or hiking is a great way to get to those locations few will get to see in their lifetime and acts as a great way to get truly immersed in the culture – meeting the friendly Caribbean people as you explore their islands.
Some of the Islands with the best public transport options include Puerto Rico, Curacao and Aruba. It is always recommended to do your research beforehand and find out which buses are available and how frequent they run.
Some Caribbean countries such as Cuba do not have the best public transport links and in this case, one of the most sustainable ways of getting around is through taxis compartidos (car shares). You can usually find these in the main square of the city/town you are in (ask your local host which square to head to). Alternatively, you can also ask your local hosts to arrange one for you and they will usually be more than happy to help.
Why Should You Choose to Slow Travel Around the Caribbean?
Not only is slow travel key in helping to fight climate change and bringing benefits to the local community but it can also benefit you (the traveller) immensely. You will also see a lot more of the locations which you are travelling to by travelling via train/bus/walking/biking rather than taking the plane. Furthermore, by volunteering and spending longer in a place you can make better connections with the locals and fully immerse yourself in the local culture.
Overall, travelling slower teaches you how to slow down and take your time and to truly experience a place rather than just simply passing through as a tourist. Whilst slow travel can sometimes be a bit trickier to organise and even at times a bit more expensive, the positives truly outweigh the negatives. Moreover, the more people who make the effort to travel slowly more often, the easier and more accessible slow travel should become as it gains popularity.
A great way to ease yourself into slow travel is by doing one of WorkingAbroad’s longer-term volunteer projects in the Caribbean. We have amazing projects in Grenada and St Eustatius, all of which work on vitally important marine and terrestrial wildlife conservation efforts. So, the next time you think of travelling, consider travelling slowly!