My favourite mode of transport – my feet.
I like walking. I do my best thinking when I walk. I have my best thoughts. I process stuff. I see interesting things.* I couldn’t walk there for a while (about 18 months) because I had a pesky injury which precluded walking, much to my horror,…but it’s better now and so I’m back to the way of the plod, foot over foot.
* (You have to walk without music, though, and without your phone in your claw. Put it away, for the sake of all that is holy, or better yet, leave it at home.)
I live in a very flat town. I miss hills. I’ve lost my hill-fitness (I know this because of the walks I take each time I’m back in Wellington.) I miss not knowing what is up ahead because of the terrain. Manawatu is big sky country. You can see for miles up ahead.
The best place I ever lived for walks was up a hill in Newtown in Wellington. The green belt was about fifty metres from my back door. I could be high up in the pines with an grand urban vista within a few minutes. Bloody lovely.
I also lived in Island Bay for a brief spell and when I moved there I swore I would walk along the beach every day, and I did, in all kinds of weather with a baby in tow.
No sea here, no hills, but still there is stuff to see, places to go.
I like reading about other people walking. I’ve read quite a few memoir about the Camino. I love Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I’ve read the Peace Pilgrim book. No Destination is another fascinating memoir of a long, long walk.
A recent walk around Lake Taupo – Willow trees and rowboats…
So, with all this love of walking, I was fascinated to read this essay over at Dark Mountain blog recently about the Dutch artist Monique Besten who has made walking part of her artistic practice and process. Like Peace Pilgrim and Satish Kumar, she is walking to make a political/spiritual point. She wears a men’s three-piece suit (the ‘soft armour’ of her essay) which she embroiders along the way. She is refusing speed and fear and comfort in order to go very slowly across Europe, meeting people, finding things, making art along the way.
Right now she is walking from the Netherlands to the south of France. She expects it to take 99 days. She is 17 days into her trip and she is blogging it. You can read it HERE. Go back to the start and read it chronologically, perhaps…
I am enjoying it so much! It’s like the books I mentioned above, except with the extra thrill of being in real time, so each update is an account of her day.
Wonderful rich stuff for the fantasy life of the domestically tethered.