The Value of a Good Walk

A trail in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, MA.
A trail in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, MA.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a lot of beautiful places and to see sites that many people only dream of. My wife and I travel whenever we have the opportunity, but we’re always happy to (eventually) come home. Home is something that most of us take for granted – the place where dinner is made, homework is done, and bills are delivered. As I mentioned in an earlier post, staycations are a lot of fun for us. They’re opportunities to explore our own backyard and to see our hometown the way that travelers do.

We’ve just relocated to Massachusetts and are having a great time learning about the area and experiencing it like locals, no longer tourists. One thing that’s been an unexpected perk is the ability to take daily walks. The area we moved from was beautiful, but it’s not safe to walk along country roads where people think they’re on the Autobahn. We now take every opportunity to put our dogs on their leashes, lace up our shoes, and go for a walk.

There’s a cove near our house that we walk around and it’s amazing. There’s nothing better than walking along the water, breathing in the fresh air, and watching the sun reflect off of the waves. During one of our walks, we starting talking about how valuable experiences like these can really be. We live in a world that has a faster pace than any other time in previous history. While the pace can enable us to accomplish more in less time, it also causes us to miss out on so many things that surround us.

No matter where you call home – in a city or on a mountain, surrounded by people or the only person for miles – take time to appreciate it. In the city, stop to take a few moments to listen to the street musician playing or look at the buildings that have been part of the skyline for years. In the country, look at the nature that surrounds you and take a moment to be silent – really silent –  and listen to the sounds of nature. Or like my wife and I, take a walk. The car will survive its temporary separation from you and you’ll enjoy the health benefits and gas savings.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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