Welcome to the world of slow travel

Slow travel is about taking the time to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a place instead of rushing around trying to pack in as much as possible. It’s about taking local buses, slow trains rather than high-speed services. And taking time out to reflect upon what you’ve seen, preferably with a chilled beverage overlooking a stunning view.

For me, it’s also about a little luxury. I want my trips to be a cut above the life I have at home. As the American travel writer Paul Theroux said, “better to go first class than to arrive.” Now that I’ve left my student days and penny-pinching youth behind, I’m looking for a life of creature comforts. For those who prefer to be a cut below, whether that means communing with nature in a tent, or bedding down with snorers and late-nighters in a shared dorm, I get it. But that’s not for me. I’ve never been remotely adventurous.

I remember reading an article about a local champion yachtsman, who said that he often looked across at the brunching hordes, drinking their lattes at the waterfront cafes, thinking how that was his idea of hell! I chuckled at that, because for me it’s the other way around. I’d be one of those brunchers any day, rather than do what he does. But each to their own.

Coconut Lands owner Carole Edwards pictured in a street in Italy

My blog therefore focuses on slow travel – the laid-back, at least 4-star kind. You won’t find articles about mountain climbing, cycling, hiking, road trips, white water rafting or skydiving. You won’t find camping either, though you might find glamping.

Why Coconut Lands? Well, I grew up in a working-class urban area of northern England called Tyneside, once known for heavy industries such as shipbuilding and steel-making. A shy introvert and home-loving girl, I first travelled abroad aged 16, on a school trip – and discovered a different world of hot sun, turquoise sea and palm trees. Living close to a coal mine and a large coke works, this was just about as different from my home environment as you could get. That holiday – to Magaluf, of all places – gave me the bug.

Ever since then, I’ve enjoyed travelling and escaping to exotic, colourful places that are very different from my cool northern hemisphere background. I know how lucky I am to be able to experience this, so the purpose of my blog is to share. I want to convey the sights, smells and feel of a place, to help readers feel that they are actually there.

I started our store – Emporio Coco – after finding it almost impossible to get hold of island-style resort wear and accessories that I love, without having to import them from Hawaii, at huge cost. My aim is to bring the laid-back joy and colour of island time to everyday life – wherever you are.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Coconut Lands and Emporio Coco. Please leave comments and feel free to share your own stories. And if there are any products you’d like us to offer that we don’t already, please let me know. You can write to me at carole@coconutlands.com

Carole - signature in cursive font

Carole Edwards, Founder, Coconut Lands
McKinley Kidd Travel Writing Award winner

GUEST POSTS ON OTHER BLOGS

Along with the New Zealand content on my own site, I’ve written articles for other blogs and websites about life in beautiful Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud. If anyone is interested in working or travelling abroad, A Way Abroad website is an amazing resource. It’s run by American blogger Kat Smith, one of the most restless and independent traveloholics I’ve ever come across. Meanwhile, Nicholas Rosen’s travel blog The World Overload has some great articles about a range of worldwide destinations.

ps: we’re on TripAdvisor! Our reviews are so valued and on point that they are often quoted in publicity material for the businesses we evaluate.