What a beautiful proverb, isn’t it? As an international student, I have always been amazed by simplicity of English proverbs carrying a deeper meaning.
Today, I would like to talk about walking and its meaning. Because the world is diverse and so are people, I will let you imagine your notion of walking. Whether it is the physical walk as an activity, or a psychological concept of heading somewhere in life, the idea of moving is important. I feel like some form of reflection on the benefits of walking would be useful.
Let me begin with walking as a physical activity. I am sure every reader is aware of benefits that walking has to offer, but in the present time it is still worth giving a thought. Easier day-to-day commuting has accelerated enormously over time compared to past. There is no denying the fact that the means of transport help us and save the time, however, it the freedom which walking offers is absent.
Speaking of daily walks most of us practise, I think there is lack of realising the enjoyment it brings about. I can relate to fact that rushing somewhere completely sweaty is not the most pleasurable experience, but I would like to focus here on intentionally peaceful walking. The question that arises is, how to get the most pleasure from daily walking?
For me, nothing feels better than a long walk. I can enjoy my own company, but I also think that walking with someone can be exciting. This is especially the case of walks with friends and family. During lockdown, many of us got stuck in the same city for quite a long period of time. When cafés and restaurants were closed, the social aspect of meeting people suddenly disappeared. For many, daily walks have become a substitution of socializing. Walking with a close one and exploring the city’s hidden gems, stopping to grab some coffee, and talking helped us to find the magic on an ordinary day. Walks alone can be thoughtful, but also can get monotonous. On the other hand, investing time to yourself is a great way of clearing the mind and organising your thoughts. I love when the walks prolong unexpectedly so that at the end of the day, I cannot feel my own legs. I am tired, but it is the most pleasant tiredness one can imagine.
Of course, it is about attitude and being used to outdoor activities as well. Nature lovers will agree with me on this point. Hiking is a different, more intense category of walking. Not only it is about the pride of reaching the summit, but the green environment and fresh air contribute to more conscious experience. Whether it is about overcoming our own limits, or going on a small hike with a picnic, I believe that the decision is up to everyone. The distance does not really matter. What matters is recharging batteries and delightful experience one feels at the end of the day.
Because summer holidays are knocking on the door, I would like to encourage you to walk as much as you can. I know that people usually divide to beach lovers, and high activity people, who cannot stand lying on the beach for more than two hours per day. Sometimes, when the sun is out and I am in a sweat, a swim in the sea or lake is the best idea. Other times, a small hike or long city stroll is a remarkable experience and a way of getting to know the country better. Also, after a long walk or hike, the food tastes somehow better. Walking is the most budget way of transferring from point A to point B, with a high chance of meeting people from all around the globe, eating local food, and getting the most authentic impression of a country.
All in all, I believe the trick lies in the view on walking. Not everyone considers walking a powerful activity. For those, I would recommend trying hiking, power walking, or jogging. Alone or with a companion, it always has something to offer. Often, one is surprised how far human determination can lead us. The ancient Greeks emphasized the importance of kalos kagathos, a harmony between mental and physiological state. I agree with the belief that the notion of walking is a connection of physical activity projected into our psychological well-being. Harmony is too abstract concept to explain, but I hope walking, or just getting outdoors, can help everyone to get the privilege to experience it.