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We did not invent the philosophy of “Slow Travel”, but we have made it our own from the very beginning. In essence, it is a matter of discarding the usual standards when evaluating a trip. Those who succeed in doing so may experience a completely new travel experience and perhaps even a previously unknown form of self-empowerment.

The status quo

In order to arrive at a new perspective, it is necessary to take an objective look at “what is”. And especially when traveling with a camper van, there is still a widespread assumption that only a long journey is a good journey.

This is such a (supposedly) incontrovertible “truth” that it doesn’t even occur to you to question it. And this basic assumption almost inevitably results in a field of tension when electric campers are introduced to this topic.

Because there’s no denying it: electric campers today – and probably still in a few years’ time – have a shorter range per charge than vehicles with a combustion engine. That is simply a fact.

It is understandable that against the background of the belief described above that only a long journey is a good journey, the first reaction is therefore to reject electric campers as a sensible alternative to diesel.

However, there are actually good reasons to take a step back and critically question this belief.

Why rethink travel?

On the one hand, everyone has probably realized by now that it does matter how much greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. So it shouldn’t be far-fetched to think about whether it’s really a good idea to travel 600 kilometers or more a day in a vehicle weighing over three tons.

In addition to responsibility for our own contribution to the climate catastrophe, there is also the argument of self-care. Because let’s be honest: is it really relaxing to sit behind the wheel for so long every day because the distances between the daily destinations you have set yourself are so great? Or is it not just a case of creating the famous “leisure stress” when you have far too many items on your list that need to be ticked off?

Social media naturally intensifies this pressure. Because all you see on YouTube and Instagram are happy people at the North Cape, in the South of France or Portugal, supposedly completely relaxed, with all the time in the world and, of course, enjoying the most beautiful places in their destination all by themselves.

I’m not saying that none of this is true, but basically we all know that reality is much less in line with this ideal. Because, of course, many other travelers are out and about at the same time in the most popular places and spoil the important proof photo for Instagram or the Whatsapp status. And perhaps even the journey there was more stressful than you’d like to admit, because you’re running a little late but can’t afford to miss the perfect sunset.

So if you are honest, you can question the mantra of absolute long-distance suitability as a prerequisite for the perfect trip.

How could it work?

So if you fundamentally consider rethinking your previous convictions, possibilities open up that were previously not even remotely conceivable.

It starts with the choice of destination. Personally, I was amazed to discover that I had never visited many beautiful places, even in my immediate neighborhood. Not to mention the rest of the country. This suddenly opened up countless new potential travel destinations that I hadn’t even had on my radar before.

Another point is the realization that you simply have to take much more time for long distances. Travelers in earlier times did this as a matter of course. But then it is also clear that a trip from Lake Constance to the North Cape and back in three weeks can only be very little relaxing.

To avoid any misunderstandings, there is of course nothing to stop you traveling from Germany to Norway or the south of France. On the contrary: these countries are hard to beat in terms of natural beauty! But then perhaps you should think about taking four, five or six weeks for these countries in order to do them and yourself justice.

Of course, I know that not everyone can take four or six weeks’ vacation. But one solution could be to only take such a long-distance trip every second or third year and to head for closer destinations in the years in between.

So if the need to drive hundreds of kilometers a day is eliminated for the reasons mentioned above, then an electric camper is suddenly a sensible and environmentally friendly option, and slow travel is an attractive idea!

Time as another important aspect of Slow Travel

But slow travel is not just a question of the distance traveled. Time is also inextricably linked to this. Time that can either be spent on the road or that would be much better spent on meaningful and memorable experiences.

This requires a certain amount of rethinking, but it can be practiced. Then the ten “instagrammable” photos and ticking off the list are no longer the top priority. Rather, you simply decide to stay in one place for an “unnaturally long time”. Without doing anything “meaningful” or “useful” there. Just being in this place at this moment. To take it in, to let it work on you, to really be there!

I can understand that the idea of “just sitting there” might be a little strange for some people. However, those who let themselves get involved often experience a quite astonishing effect: after some initial restlessness, because you are not used to being just with yourself, your mind “gives up” at some point and things that have previously only taken place in the background become much more present.

As I said, this may sound a little esoteric to some, but what bad thing can happen if you try? :-)

Implementation in practice

The same effect can also be achieved with an electric camper, if you allow it. While I keep hearing that it’s simply impossible for many people to take a charging break after a good two hundred kilometers, all I can think about is how much I’m looking forward to checking my messages again, making myself a coffee or just lying down on the sofa and dozing for a while.

True to the motto “Charging time is vacation time!

This view of things can be applied to pretty much everything that is supposedly so problematic about an electric camper. And for those who succeed in doing so, all these supposed problems quickly disappear.

I can understand if some people now say that I would simply “drink in” the disadvantages of an electric camper. Of course you can see it that way and I don’t dispute that at all.

But as is so often the case, it is a question of perspective whether something is a problem or an opportunity. And the decision for one or the other is ultimately a personal one!

Conclusion

So it all boils down to the question of whether you are willing and able to leave the beaten track and question familiar thought patterns.

Incidentally, I am not saying that the answer to the question of whether it is possible to travel less distance and in less time cannot also be “no”. Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves.

However, I would advise everyone to think about such a change in more than just theory. So if you are not yet convinced of the benefits of slow travel, I would like to encourage you to try it out for yourself!

Published On: 3. April 2023
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