Slow, Local and Experiential Travel – our mission, mantra, ethos, and reason we launched Grantourismo on New Year’s Day 2010. This year we’re celebrating 12 years of inspiring more immersive and enriching, and more meaningful and memorable travel. And we’re renewing our pledge to promote forms of travel that are more sustainable, responsible and ethical. Join us for another 12 years?

Before the pandemic, as part of our commitment to advocating slow, local and experiential travel – forms of travel that we believe are more sustainable, responsible and ethical – we’d planned a year of exciting new content to celebrate a decade of Grantourismo. We were going to reinvigorate some of the original series (we re-booted one, Weekend Eggs), as well as introduce new series. 

The 1st January 2020 had marked ten years since we launched Grantourismo on New Year’s Day 2010 with our slow, local and experiential travel quest, with a year-long grand tour of the world aimed at inspiring our readers to travel more slowly, more locally and more experientially. 

Slowing down and spending longer in places, connecting with locals, getting out of tourist zones and exploring local neighbourhoods, and learning and doing things to get a deeper experience of places meant to travel in ways that were more immersive, more engaging and more enriching, and ultimately, for us anyway, more meaningful and more memorable.

There was a lot to celebrate in 2020, but unfortunately the pandemic got in the way. The world may still be in a sorry state, but as far as Grantourismo is concerned, there’s even more to celebrate in 2022. The pandemic forced us to pivot from a travel site with some recipes and food content, to a recipe-driven food site with travel content. As a result, we welcomed millions of new readers.

So, despite the current state of the world, we’re going to move ahead with our plans for the site this year, but before I tell you about those, we have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or donate to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.

Another option is to use our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, or gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.

You could also shop our Grantourismo store on Society6 for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let’s tell you how and why we’re renewing our commitment to advocating slow, local and experiential travel and what we have planned for 2022.

Slow, Local and Experiential Travel – We’re Celebrating 12 Years of Sustainable Travel

There was indeed a lot to celebrate in 2020 and as far as Grantourismo is concerned, there’s even more to celebrate in 2022, so despite the current state of the world, we’re going to go ahead with our plans for the site this year…

Travel Changed for the Better in 12 Years – We Like to Think We Played a Role in That

When we launched Grantourismo on the first day of 2010, travellers interested in slowing down, renting apartments and holiday houses to attempt to live like a local and get beneath the skin of the places they settled into, were still in the minority.

Travelling to get a taste of a place by doing street food tours, shopping markets, eating in neighbourhood eateries, and learning to cook local food, had not yet become the massive travel trends that they have in recent years.

How to travel sustainably, responsibly and ethically – how to be a better traveller and how to be a greener traveller were rarely a concern for most travellers back in 2009 when we were planning the project and defining our mission.

And prior to 2011, travel media very rarely covered slow travel, local travel and experiential travel prior. It wasn’t until after our year-long 2010 trip that the mainstream travel media finally caught onto the advantages of travelling more slowly, learning to live like locals on holidays, learning to cook the local food, and learning things.

In the decade since we launched the site, up to the pandemic, slow travel, local travel and experiential travel went from being niche to almost mainstream, and an increasing number of travellers were thinking about how they can travel more sustainably, more ethically and more responsibly.

In that decade, Airbnb also took off and dominated the holiday rental market (which hasn’t necessarily been a good thing), countless travel companies started focusing on local travel and experiential travel, and now the travel media regularly covers these forms of travel. Despite the obvious backlashes that ensued, we still call that success.

Our 2020 Plans Were Shelved, But We’re Not Letting the Pandemic Get in the Way Again

To celebrate, in early 2020 we’d planned on renewing our commitment to slow, local and experiential travel by rebooting some old series that we launched back in 2010, as well as launching some new ones. Plus, we had a whole lot of exciting activities planned, including a few celebratory readers tours and writers retreats in Southeast Asia.

But we all know how that went. The pandemic arrived, flights stopped, borders closed, the world shut down, and we all – we and so many of our friends, colleagues, and readers – lost all our work, contracts, projects, and income.

Many of us caught Covid or knew people who got Covid, and sadly, knew people who died of Covid. Terence and I spent the best part of 18 months either staying at home and self-isolating, in quarantine, in lockdown, or chasing vaccines.

Late in 2021, when things were looking up and countries were re-opening, including Cambodia, we planned on reinvigorating our travel content and launching those new series we’d planned.

Then Omicron arrived to wreak havoc, resulting in thousands of flights cancelled around the world, holidays put on hold, and now hospitals struggling to keep up. So far, it’s not the 2022 that we had all hoped it would be.

Here’s What We Have Planned for 2022, So Far…

We’ve decided to push ahead with Grantourismo’s 12th birthday celebrations. Because one of the few positives to come from the pandemic – apart from all the time we got to spend cooking, developing recipes and working on our cookbooks – was the massive increase in visitors to Grantourismo as a result of pivoting from a travel site with recipes and food content to a recipe-driven food site with travel content.

We’re still going to continue to publish the recipes that we know you love, including our popular new series: What to Cook this Week, What to Cook this Weekend, and the Most Popular Recipes of the Month.

But we’re also going to re-inject more travel content into the site, because we can all still dream of travelling again, even if travel has changed dramatically in the last two years.

First we’re going to start by reviewing the last 12 years with a series of collections of the 12 most popular all-time posts – the most popular recipe posts, most popular stories, most popular destinations, and the most popular posts in each of the categories of slow travel, local travel and experiential travel.

After we’ve done that, we’ll be re-booting a few of the old series, as well as launching new guides as part of our efforts to renew our commitment to slow, local and experiential travel, and our pledge to promote sustainable, responsible and ethical travel, which are by far the best forms of travel for the world right now.

We also want to hear from you, our readers, and learn what you’d like to read on the site, so please don’t hesitate to email us, leave a comment at the end of any relevant post, and get in touch via social media.

We are also planning to re-boot our newsletter, so if you’re a subscriber, you can expect to receive the first very soon. If you’re not, you can subscribe at the end of this page.

We hope you’ll stick around and join us for another 12 years.

Stay safe out there!
Lara & Terence

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