Rediscovering the long walk

Since I’ve been anchored to my home for a few months now, I had to find another way to express my need for travel. Here’s the solution I found: take several long walks within the week. By doing this, homebound vagabonds don’t have to feel trapped or confined when they are between trips. You just step outside your front door and keep walking – no plans necessary. Alternatively, you can ride public transportation, get dropped off at a random spot, and walk from there.

Is a long walk considered as a manifestation of vagabonding, even if you’re just in your hometown? I certainly think so. Taking a long walk in your area will allow you to see mundane sights in a different way. If you usually drive past the houses, shops, or even empty lots, you miss details that you can explore better if you only went by on a slower pace. A good example of this experience can be found in a piece by Frank Bures entitled “The Long Walk”, where he walked for four hours from Verona to Madison in Wisconsin.

Another reason to take long walks is to stretch your legs. “Walking is the best possible exercise,” said Thomas Jefferson – and I agree. As a writer I spend most of the day cooped up in my home office, and my long walk is the only thing that keeps me from having a completely sedentary lifestyle. But Jefferson wasn’t just referring to physical exercise. Taking long walks also allows us to clear our minds and make space for new ideas and experiences.

In Rolf’s first book, “Vagabonding” he wrote that long term travel ” […] requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.” What better way to start than to go beyond one’s doorstep and take that long walk one step at a time?

Do you also take long walks when you’re not traveling?

Image by Plusverde from

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 16, 2009
Category: General

3 Responses to “Rediscovering the long walk”

  1. the passionate slave Says:

    I love walking in the morning. I take delight in savouring the tranquil state of the streets and park.

  2. Gadlinks for Friday 7.17.09 | Says:

    […] in doubt, take a long walk to clear your head and get some fresh air. It’s a great mini-travel activity you can do wherever […]

  3. Al Says:

    I really like this theory.

    To that end I decided to “walk home for Christmas” last year. I saw a lot!

    Rolf – I noticed in the shop window in Paris that you were due to speak there. Cool! Unfortunately I’m now back in London.