The Power of Walking
Updated: Sep 23
I’ve always loved a good walk. Hiking around the Stroud valleys and following sections of the Cotswold Way is the perfect way to spend an autumn afternoon, in my opinion.
My recent travels have really shown me the power of walking in a new way.
Where I live at the moment, to walk into the local town (Stroud) takes about 30/40 minutes, so clearly, this is an option I seldom take. A 30-minute walk seems far too long to run a few simple errands or nip out for a coffee.
At home, the joy of walking is reserved for when you’re ‘going for a walk’ not just as a means of transport. If I am planning on going somewhere, I might drive, or check the bus times, but to walk there is usually pretty low down on the list because I live in a relatively remote place.
However, a lot of the hostels I stayed in were a bit of a walk from the centre, the most being the hostel in Prague which was about a 30/40 minute walk from the old town (https://www.hostelelf.com/ would 100% recommend!). Although I would never really consider walking into Stroud, I walked into the Old Town in Prague every day, often more than once.
So what’s the difference between these 30/40 minute walks?
From the Prague Hostel to the Charles Bridge in the Old Town is about 2.8km and the walk from my house to the centre of Stroud is 3km, so it is a little further, but not by much.
The difference isn’t even the fact that in the UK I’ve usually got somewhere I need to be; when travelling I might have a walking tour booked or a museum time slot, or I might be meeting someone for a drink. Perhaps it’s the fact that when you’re at home there’s always something you have to do.
The difference is between being and doing.
When you’re travelling, sure there’s a lot to do, but you seem to spend a lot more time being. There are no to-do lists, no meetings, nothing you HAVE to do, you can just spend the whole day wandering the streets of this new exciting city.
The walk into town isn’t a chore, instead, it’s an opportunity to explore the city, see new sites and smell new smells, to let your mind wander. Comparatively, if I were to walk somewhere at home, I wouldn’t find the views and the atmosphere as captivating, because it’s not new.
Sometimes feeling like a tourist, stopping to take pictures of random streets, and gazing in wonder at the world around, is the best feeling. Walking everywhere gives you this opportunity, that taking the bus or metro just doesn’t.
Perhaps we need to have a go at viewing the places we live anew and walking somewhere instead of driving.
Maybe even just wandering around somewhere you know well with a new mindset, being mindful and attentive to the little details, the way the shadow falls here or the colours of a sign there. You might even discover something or somewhere you never knew existed, like a new cafe round a corner you’d never noticed, or a beautiful hidden path.
Next time you’re out and about, imagine you’re completely new to the area and see what you can find. What can you discover by just being?
P.S. For all of you out there with thick thighs like me, walking 25,000 steps in a day in the summer probably sounds like a nightmare, but don’t worry I have found the solution to all your chub rub needs! The BeYou Anti-Chafing Cream has been an absolute life-saver and has allowed me to discover that I actually like skirts...and walking in them! I used to always wear bike shorts under skirts but it means the skirts and dresses I would wear were always knee-length, but with this cream, you can wear whatever you like! Chafing is caused when the skin’s moisture evaporates due to the heat, leaving behind salt crystals. These salt crystals grind against the skin with further movement, which can cause the skin to become very sore. BeYou’s anti-chafing cream is designed to lock in moisture and create a silky barrier to protect the skin. Honestly, it really has made a big difference to my life, you shouldn’t have to plan your outfit or your activities around your thighs!
Use this link or this code (FLOGA10) to get 10% off your first shop from BeYou, across the whole store! (my other recommendations would be the menstrual patches and the menstrual cups...)