Why do we walk anymore? There are trains and cars, planes and bikes. Our fast-paced world is constantly reminding us to hurry up, keep appointments, to be on time. There’s never any time to wander around, especially in the city where strolling around looking at your surroundings is akin to being that one car driving 40 mph on the highway.
But there’s so much to walking. Not just walking to get somewhere, but walking to explore, to see new things, to find places you never knew existed. In an age where walking is seen as meaningless, suddenly so much meaning is thrust behind it. Because the ability to take the time to go for a walk, aimlessly strolling among the pines or the skyscrapers, is such a gift. A gift brought by time: it’s what we all lack but constantly strive for. Time to do nothing.
But, walking isn’t nothing. It’s exercise for one, for your body and your mind. If you find yourself walking without thought, without distraction, that’s when the best ideas can come to you, when your brain can make sense of the day, or of the week ahead. It’s a time to yourself that removes all distractions, a time to clear your head from the congestion of our modern time that so few of us get to have.
Walking is no longer a necessity. It’s a privilege. It means we have the time to wander around. So many intellectuals (writers and the like over the years) have taken to walking far more than the modern man. Is there a connection between their amazing works and the deliberate act of wandering aimlessly? Perhaps; it is rather likely. So what if the disparity between those amazing wanderers and the rest of us is that they made the time for themselves to walk, and we didn’t? Wouldn’t it be at least worth a try? There’s so little risk attached.
I like those chances, so I’ll walk. I’ll wander among the trees and the skyscrapers. I’ll go on adventures and find new places that exist in my neighborhood. And where’s a better place for that than Berlin? I haven’t found one. Not yet. But I’ll keep searching, and for that I’ll walk.