Ciao! It has been a little while! Just recently I spent 4 days in Poland with two very close friends, hiking more than 115km through the countryside. Let me tell you, it was amazing! So this is dedicated to the underrated mode of travel commonly known as……walking.
There are many, many forms of travel – Plane, Train, Bus, Car, Motorbike, Bike, Scooter – and a lot of them are mostly about getting to the destination, tending to be less about the traveling itself. Walking takes a long time, and whilst performing this old fashioned mode I often felt like we weren’t able to see as much as I may have liked, but in reality I think I was seeing better than I wanted. Usually when traveling the images flash past us and we glimpse and accept that as seeing. We have a box filled with blurred images in our mind and treasure those as places visited. I may have only seen a sliver of Poland but what I did see was far more than a mere glimpse. I couldn’t busy myself with drawing, conversation with a stranger or with a book. I couldn’t close my eyes or look away. I was forced to soak it up, all of it. And I loved it. Yes, in an hour we could have covered the same distance with a car, but it was time well spent. The sore feet, knees and back made me feel alive. It gave me a sense of achievement. I think that riding a bike in many ways has the same sort of satisfaction and you do get to see more than walking without the blur a motor often taints image in. But walking has a greater sense of freedom, you can hitchhike, you can change plans, go through a larger variety of terrain. You have your backpack, the world under your feet and an infinite amount of possibilities before you.
Like most things in life, it is not for everyone! And if you can’t handle blisters it definitely isn’t for you! But even in my current home, Hamburg, a walk down unknown streets can produce amazing adventures and exciting sights, because I am still, for long enough to see them! We can’t all travel the world, but sometimes we can get the same things from an unknown backstreet in our own city (maybe with someone and not at 0200 hours though!)
I am about to hike 230km through the Australian desert and boy the excitement for that adventure cannot be transferred into words! But I just wanted to express the value of walking in life. It’s easier to stop and smell the roses when we are walking than on a train…
’till next time!