Carl Honoré, 06 December, 2022
Author Carl Honoré gives an insight into his new children's book 'It's the Journey' all about Slow Travel.
Slow travel is a gift for children. It teaches them to be present and alive to the moment. To tread lightly on the planet. To embrace the world in all its richness and wonder. When children take time to stop and stare, they cultivate the ultimate superpower: a calm and open mind.
Slow travel is a gift for families, too. It binds us closer together. It also creates Proustian memories that last a lifetime. When I look back on my own childhood, my fondest highlights often involve moments of slow travel with my family. Biting into a juicy peach plucked from a tree in the Okanagan Valley. Swimming in the clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Racing my little brother up the Eiffel Tower.
I wrote It's The Journey Not The Destination to inspire readers of all ages to move through the world with less haste and more awareness. To savour the small details and fine grain that make each place unique. That's why the 40 voyages in the book are all based on slower forms of transport: bike, boat, train, your own two feet. When you stop dashing to your destination, getting there becomes part of the adventure. Like walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Or gliding down the Mississippi River in a steamboat. Or cycling round the Baltic Sea en route to regal Riga.
I hope It's The Journey will also show children that the best voyages often happen in your imagination, that you can travel anywhere on a magic carpet of words and pictures. Even if you never cycle the Silk Road or paddle round the Galápagos Islands, reading about such places can drop you right in the middle of them. No wonder people are using the book to plan their next family trip!
My hope is that parents, grandparents and children will pull It's The Journey off the shelf, cuddle up in bed and then ask the most exciting question of all: Where shall we go tonight? Because slow travel really is the gift that keeps on giving.