travel hacks take the scenic route. Tortoise walking along a path

Travel Hacks Part 2 – Taking the Scenic Route

Take the slow train

So, you may be thinking this is a metaphor, but actually, it’s a literal suggestion. This won’t apply to everyone, but if you do travel by train, here’s an idea I recommend. For the outward-bound leg of your journey, if you don’t need to get there at a fixed time (for example if you’re travelling to your destination the day before a meeting or event), try taking the slow train. Don’t get the speedy service, but go for the slow service or ‘scenic route’.

Why? Because it’s a completely different vibe.

Benefits of the scenic route

Throughout my years travelling for work, to and from events I’ve observed a number of benefits to taking the slow train.

Firstly, on these slower services, you’re more likely to get people taking short, local journeys. People commuting from one station that sounds like something out of Midsummer Murders, to another station you’ve never heard of. They are often carrying shopping bags instead of doing work on laptops or watching videos without their headphones in. So the whole experience, including the passengers, can be just that bit more considerate. Yes, the service is a lot slower and stops a lot, but there’s also often much more countryside and scenery to look at and admire from the window.

An opportunity to slow down

Taking the slow train is a completely different vibe, and I find that I can even get a little bit of recovery in I’m whilst travelling. It allows me to slow down, I can sit back, relax and enjoy the slow, meandering journey. It is a lot more restorative, and a far more pleasant journey – if you have the time.

On the way back, I tend to want to get home quickly because the work is done.

Taking the scenic route as a metaphor

So as well as taking the scenic route literally, in taking the slow train, we could of course take it as a metaphor. Can you slow your journeys down? Can you take the more scenic route? You could apply that to walking or driving journeys as well. It’s about making time to stop, have a look around and just slow it all down.

By slowing things down even momentarily we get a sliver of recovery: a small opportunity for rest throughout the day. What does that do? It gives the mind and the nervous system a little bit of a break, hopefully pushing you into the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ part of your nervous system.

What’s your travel hack?

If you have any great tips for when you’re travelling, I would love to hear them. Next week’s SNAP is all about ambience, so stay tuned.

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