There are many ways to travel and see the world. You can take a plane, train or automobile. You can ride in a boat, on a bicycle or on the back of a horse. You can even surf the Web. But I think the best way of seeing the world is by walking.
Walking allows you to set your own pace. You can walk quickly to get an overall sense of a place. You can walk more slowly to browse. Or you can just plain stop walking and spend as much time as you want … examining, talking, absorbing. No other means of transportation will let you do that. Not yet, anyway.
This blog is about walking. It’s a place to share interesting places to walk, walking experiences, walking trends, discuss the benefits of walking and to encourage each other to walk more.
Initially, I will post blogs about walking in my home area, London, Ontario. That’s mainly because it’s where I walk most. But it’s also because I’ve found many interesting places to walk, surprisingly so, at least to me.
I haven’t always been interested in walking. Who walks, asked my younger self? Well, my grandfather did. And quickly. So did my aunts and uncles. Mainly because vehicles were not as common back then as they are now.
But living in central Toronto changed that. You can walk or subway almost anywhere in the city. I walked to work every day for 15 years. Each morning and evening I would walk past the shops and hustle-and-bustle of Bloor Street or Yonge Street or Eglinton Road. I would walk to get groceries, to see friends, to explore the neighbourhood. I walked even more when my bicycle was stolen.
When I moved to Hamilton, walking to work was less of an option. It was a bit too far. The walking path was either next to a busy four-lane speedway or a muddy trail. Stores were too far away to carry groceries or run errands. While I lived near the quaint downtown of Dundas, for practical purposes it was similar to suburban living.
But, I still walked. I walked the downtown streets of Dundas and Hamilton, through the many trails and parks surrounding Hamilton and its many waterfalls, and while golfing. No carts for me, thank you.
I despaired when I moved to London in the Fall of 2014. I needed quick access to Highway 401 for frequent work and family purposes. So, I found a place to live in South East London only a minute to the highway. While there was some shopping nearby, I still needed a car for many errands. Who wanted to walk through bland, boring residential areas, I thought?
Well, I was wrong. My first few ventures revealed an interesting mix of neighbours. Pushing just a little further out, I found many nature trails and conservation areas. And just a short drive away I could walk many other parks and trails, many beside the historic Thames River.
So, I would like to share some of what I discovered on these walks. You’ll get to know London a little bit better and perhaps be motivated to discover your neighbourhood a little bit better too.
I will also share stories of walks a little further afield from time to time. Most likely when winter is over and the walking a little more leisurely.
I’d also like to hear from you. Suggestions for where to walk and your experiences are very welcome.