I walk a lot. I walk my dog, a lot. When I am able, I will park my car in one spot and walk through my entire errands, returning again and again to my car. When in a new town for business or pleasure, I always walk the neighborhood near the hotel.
I wear out shoes quickly.
I hike, and always loved it, but essentially, it is just a strenuous and pleasurable walk.
I prefer to walk whenever I am able, much more so than driving, and do so nearly every day, regardless of the weather. I am enamored with (often to the point of craving) the solitude and mental recharge, but also enjoy walking with company when the opportunity arises. Sharing what you love actually increases the attraction to the activity. Alone or with company, I walk.
I rarely wear headphones when I walk, preferring birds, traffic, and the sounds of kids shrieking on some playground a block away.
I recall one day a few years ago. I was in Puerto Rico for a business trip and the entire team was leaving for lunch at a local bakery. It was literally a 10 minute walk and an 8 minute drive. They packed into two cars, while I walked in the hot damp of summer. Much of the lunch conversation was, ironically, about their fitbit stats and how travelling messes with them. After eating (my favorite time for a walk), I walked back, when an unexepected island rainstorm suddenly had me pinned down in a coffee shop for 15 minutes. The owner laughed at my horrible spanish and treated me to a free cortalito. Soaked, I nonetheless enjoyed this walk more than many.
Much earlier than that, my new girlfriend drove from the town over just to share a lunchtime walk. We stopped and practiced dance moves in a tiny park outside an office building.
For many, to walk without knowing the exact path, even if the destination is clear, can be frightening and disorienting, attacking a sense of order or stabbing at some deeper root. Wanderlust has an opposite, and a useful one it is, keeping us from aimlessness. But not knowing exactly what is around the corner can be thrilling. I have a mind and soul for this type of low risk adventure, and do not ordinarily experience hesitation or anxiety from the unknown in this setting. Known or imagined adversaries and conflicts are different entirely, and being careful is certainly wise. But, I almost never feel uncomfortable speaking to strangers, and the idea of perhaps getting lost seems to be a source of excitement more than of fear. There is a confidence that I will not only be okay, I will be better for the new experience.
And therein lies the larger lesson. To walk without any trepidation or fear through the unknown is, honestly, impossible. But, to decide to walk confidently toward the horizon nonetheless, is living.