If there’s one thing that I enjoy more than anything else on hols – next to getting to sleeping in, I might add – and that’s taking a walk. I’m a walker by nature, since I work at home and sit behind a computer most of the time, so it’s a great change of scenery, but even on holiday I get a bit restless on the beach lounger and like to change things up. Here are my reasons why I like walk a bit on my trips – and why maybe you should too.
I find a good way to meet locals and get a real sense of a place is by checking out the outdoor options. Sure, you’re not going to strike up a conversation with a jogger speeding by, and if you don’t speak the language you might miss what the granny on the bench is pointing out, but it’s worth making the effort in my opinion. If nothing else, enjoy the people watching – it provides great fodder for Facebook discussion.
Even in blustery weather I think a good walk is helpful because on holiday we often eat and drink in not quite the same moderation that we might do when we are back home. Carrying packs full of supplies and holding shopping bags can be a real bare on your neck and shoulders, so a long walk can do a world of good stretching things out. Plus you’ll sleep better and feel a bit more refreshed the next day.
I know that for some of you- myself included, at times – going on a trip can be stressful; things go wrong, mishaps happen. And wasn’t getting away from the stress one of the reasons we travel to begin with? A walk can really clear your mind from all of that, get your heart rate up in the right way, and help you get back in focus to your priorities. Studies from researchers have shown that even a half hour walk can improve your mood and drop stress levels significantly.
The fact is that when you walk a lot, you see more. If you’re on the tube, you see nothing except perhaps the armpit of a stranger. Buses are great but if you see an interesting shop or a lovely view, it can be hard to get back to that spot. Walking allows you the freedom to pop into a random shop or step into a museum or attraction you might not have even heard about otherwise.
I love the serendipity and freedom that walking provides – as long as I have good quality shoes! How about you?
Photo by Donald Lee Pardue
Posted : Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.