Slow travel and micromorts | Day 88 of 100

3min read

I haven't been to the sea for a while. I have been to the seaside and have been on a ferry within the last 24months but have not experienced the vastness and danger of the sea for some time. Not something I long for having a preference for the mountains, but I do miss it nonetheless. We often skip the sea when we (used to) travel. Opting for flight or some ginormous sea-faring vessel as a preference. This makes sense a lot of the time, an Atlantic crossing that would have taken weeks now takes hours and the safety factor alone makes it a no brainer.

In opting for these forms of travel though, the quick and safe travel, disconnects us from the enormity and diversity of the world we live in. I first really noticed this when driving around Europe for approximately a month, travelling to some places I had been before and others which were completely foreign. We opted to drive for precisely the reason of slowing down the experience, taking in the bits in between the destinations which more often than not end up being the highlights. These are the things that we would not have experienced if we had flown in reliant on pre-booked affairs.

I guess this is the appeal of 'backpacking', to live minimally and see the in-between bits. There may also be added danger though to travelling more 'slowly', opting to cycle instead of fly for instance not only will take you a lot longer and will also have a much higher mortality rate. Flying has a near zero 'micromort per thousand kilometres travelled' whereas cycling has nearly 34 micromorts/1000km. Where 1 micromort is a one in a million chance of death. Now the next bit is a bit of a weird thing to say, but I would argue that the amount you 'experience' or enjoy your travels correlates the this table of micromorts/1000km. Where the higher the chance of death, the 'better' and more diverse and cultured your travels will be (with the exception of motorcycles!).

Micromorts/100km and 'travel fulfilment' also seem to correlate with the speed of transport. The slower the form of transport, the higher the mortality rate, but also the higher the travel satisfaction. Perhaps we would find more fulfilment in longer and slower travel breaks, soaking up the journey as well as the destination in the future. One to mull over before booking flights to the next destination of choice!