查看: 21|回复: 0










Rank: 8Rank: 8

发表于 2018-5-12 10:11:57 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  “I have some bad news,” my British tour operator told me as I prepared to
return to North Korea four months ago. “The DPRK1) is really short of basic
materials. You’re going to have to take your own snacks and water. Even soap.”
Then he brightened up. “The good news is that it’s still quite hard to get
online there and most mobile phones don’t work. So you’ll be free for as long as
you’re there!”
          It wasn’t the first time of late I’ve encountered such wisdom. In Namibia a
year earlier, I realised that one of the sovereign2) blessings of the place is
that, in nine days and nights, I had barely gone online and had made and
received exactly one phone call (to my wife, to remind her when I would be
coming home). And, of course, in the presence of desert-adapted rhinos3) and
sand dunes the height of skyscrapers, I had never begun to miss the tiny
          More and more people are spending hundreds of pounds a night to stay in
“black-hole resorts4),” one of whose main attractions is that you hand over your
smartphone and tablet on arrival. In a world where the human race accumulates
more information every five minutes than exists in the entire US Library of
Congress, emptiness and silence are the new luxuries.
          Welcome, in short, to “slow travel,” which comes to seem ever more tempting
in an age of acceleration. This can take the form of simply unplugging; but it
also speaks for the special, everyday allure of seeing somewhere on foot, of
going to one place (and not 10) in 14 days, and sometimes of going somewhere to
do nothing at all. This used to be known as idling, but in a multi-tasking
world, in which we seem to be living at a pace dictated by machines, going at
human speed suddenly begins to look like sanity and freedom.
          I experienced my own first taste of slow travel 23 years ago, when I
checked into a monastery5), of all places—even though years of enforced chapel6)
at school had left me all but allergic to church services. It didn’t matter. The
chance to take walks, to forget about phone calls, to sit and just catch my
breath, so invigorated7) me that when I moved to Japan, I took a two-room flat
that had something of the quiet of a retreat house.
          But I also experienced a sense of freedom when I arrived in Zurich, to find
I could get everywhere by easy and frequent tram. I’ve known friends take tours
on bicycles, or long train rides so they can simply read and write and chat with
strangers. I’ve seen them go skiing in Kashmir, where there’s just one
chairlift, or fishing in Scotland or Montana to catch some stillness. Even
Ritz-Carltons8) and Intercontinentals9) now offer “digital detox10)” packages to
help open your eyes and ears to the wonders around you.
          The essence of holidays, and therefore travel, is to get what you don’t get
enough of the rest of the time. And for more and more of us, this isn’t
movement, diversion or stimulation; we’ve got plenty of that in the palms of our
hands. It’s the opposite: the chance to make contact with loved ones, to be in
one place and to enjoy the intimacy and sometimes life-changing depth of talking
to one person for five—or 15—hours.
          Of course, lying on a beach or in a hammock11) has always offered something
of a respite12) from the rat race13). But as I hear of westerners walking to
Mount Kailash, or a film producer going to the Seychelles just to read books
with his daughter, as I see how the appeal of a long walk in the woods is not
just the woods but the lack of all signals, I suspect that the world has
reversed direction since the time, not so long ago, when jumbo jets14) and
Concordes15) first promised to whisk16) us across the planet at supersonic
speeds. Concorde, after all, is gone now; but near where I live, in the old
Japanese capital of Nara, there are more and more rickshaws17) in view—to cater
to the very people who patented the idea of “Six Cities in Four Days.”

使用道具 举报

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 立即注册


小黑屋|手机版|Archiver|新都网 ( 京ICP备09058993号 )

GMT+8, 2019-1-17 11:16 , Processed in 0.036776 second(s), 7 queries , WinCache On.

Powered by Discuz! X3.4

© 2001-2017 Comsenz Inc.

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表