Love Living Outside Your Hometown — Experiences I’m Grateful For

No Car or Vehicle

In my experiences, not having a car or other vehicle forces you / me to walk more. And can totally warp your life every day. In a fun way.

Call me crazy, strange, and weird, but I love walking. And if there’s no other choice, then I’m forced to use my body and get some exercise. Yep, you’re aware that the health benefits are excellent and so is breathing some air.

There’s also public transit for longer journeys, which usually involves at least a little bit of walking too. And taking the metro, buses, trains, and public transit probably helps you and all of us with cleaner air and environments. You already know there are issues with your vehicles like maintenance costs and sometimes parking. It definitely helps to live in a place that’s more walkable and has options. Why not try no car for half a day?

In the case where you’re living in a city or country where you weren’t born, walking / less car gives you an opportunity to interact with locals. It can be a wonderful experience of tranquility to walk slow (half speed as Paulo Coelho might recommend), smile, practice mindfulness and awareness always looking for ways you can help strangers. Sometimes I love to walk and listen to podcasts, since they’ve changed the way I see myself and the rest of the world, especially David Kadavy, Tim Ferriss, and Rich Roll.

Right now I’m living in Medellín, Colombia, and yesterday reminded me of this peace, and the ability to slow down, during a trip to the local grocery store to get some vegetables and fruits. I was serving myself a little bag to fill up with produce and as I was doing so an elderly Colombian woman walked up just after me to wait.

I hesitated a moment, then did something I hadn’t done before, which small and insane as it sounds may have been a catalyst to rewire my brain to look for more opportunities to help others. I gave the woman the bag I’d just ripped off the spool. Her face lit up with gratitude and she was pleasantly surprised at the gesture.

Then more people walked up. Now I was in the zone. I kept serving. People kept smiling and saying muchas gracias. I know it’s not a big deal, although it was probably not the expected behavior and disrupted some people’s patterns as Tony Robbins might say.

Perhaps it’s the little things that count and you can feel amazing in any present moment if you pay attention and don’t go into any pre-programmed modes where you’re just thinking about yourself. And helping others makes me feel wonderful. Whether it’s translating between languages to help groups of people communicate, or helping organizations monitor air quality and water, I feel fortunate to remind myself every day how lucky we are.

You made time to read this article, so you can make time to help strangers today.