For us slow travel is about traveling in a motion that gives us the time to adapt to the landscapes and communities we pass. To feel the landscape, talk with the locals and know distances. Where the trip is not about commuting from A to B missing all that is in between, but where the trip is the journey, no matter the destination. It is the reason we travel on human power, a slow, real and honest speed, brought by the energy of our own body and (sometimes) the help of natures wind energy.
But we also travel with other slow modes, like now, we take the train across Canada. A mode of transportation where you don't want to be in a hurry, since it's far behind the efficiency of the European train network. The Canadian traverses 4.500 kilometers in 4 days from Vancouver to Toronto. That's 25 times faster than when we would have done it by bike, but 20 times slower than when we would have taken the plane. A fair balance for us, to get somewhere relatively quick, without missing the landscape. Though it is too fast to feel, smell and hear the sounds of the areas we pass and to stop if something grabs our attention.
For example, when we cruised trough the Rockies and mountain goats climbed up the rocks just right next to the train. All we have is a memory and a blurry photo of the beautiful animals, we wished to observe them longer. On the other hand the slow motion of the train gives an abundance of time to get to know the people on the train. Four days in the same vehicle gives us a lot of time to talk. It is great to get involved with the locals from the most remote areas in Canada. We choose for the economy class, the cheapest option. We have to sit on a chair for four days in a row but get to see more of Canada then we could imagine.
Talking with people from different states, different backgrounds, different ideas and different economy levels. We talked to a Trump minded Baptist priest, we talked to a grandpa taking a four day train ride to see his grandson, to a man who used to work for the railways and answered every question about the trains, to a young guy planting trees for the logging companies all summer long and we spoke to a crab fishing Canadian working for the Russian maffia. Our ears got spoiled with stories, mostly with those from the lower social class who just like us, slept on a chair for four days. We learned about Canada, while we steam through the landscapes.
Choose the train sometimes!