Walk. Discover.

Photo by Thomas Leuthard under CC BY 2.0 license

I live about four miles from where I work.

I’m too nervous to bike in a hilly and bike-unfriendly city. Occasionally I’ll walk to work, but most days I drive.

Last Wednesday was one such day where I had the time and energy decided to walk. I went the long way (an extra 1.5 miles). The trip took a little more than 90 minutes, but I felt great when I arrived at work.

On my journey, I realized a handful of things I had never noticed before, even though I drive that same route almost daily.

  • There are two hotels I never knew existed. Okay, shabby, bed-bug-ridden motels, but still, I never noticed them.
  • White Castle smells good from the outside, but that’s still not enough to get me to go inside.
  • Sometimes people park their cars on the sidewalk and look at you like you’re the crazy person.

I’d never recognized any of those things while driving. And while they are useless pieces of information, they are different. It’s a change of pace and scenery that helps the mind when you allow it to relax.

I bet you’d be surprised and what you can get to in an hour’s walk, which is about 3 miles. Check it out. Pull up Google Maps, find yourself, find something three miles away and draw a rough radius. Anything within the circle you drew should be within about an hour away.

So, slow down. Take a look at what’s happening in the world surrounding the place you reside.

This article was originally published for my (now retired) blog, The Polymath Lab, on May 18, 2015.

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