A mom walks along with her daughter by way of the streets of Cuzco, Peru.
I’m in Southern California in the mean time, staying with my dad and mom, and I made a decision to go for an extended stroll final evening. I didn’t go far, however I used to be gone for greater than an hour and there wasn’t a soul in sight. Throughout my stroll, I noticed fairly just a few automobiles, however only a few individuals. In truth, I noticed just one different particular person the whole time I used to be strolling – an previous man together with his canine, who appeared to run in the wrong way when he noticed me strolling his approach.
This received me pondering, “The place are all of the American walkers?”
Throughout my travels in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing individuals stroll. Strolling, it appears, is the principle technique to get round in lots of elements of the world. To run errands… individuals stroll. To satisfy with buddies… individuals stroll. To socialize and do enterprise… individuals stroll. For tens of millions and tens of millions of individuals all around the world, strolling is a traditional, on a regular basis exercise!
Right here in the US, nonetheless, you hardly ever ever see individuals strolling – no less than not for any actual size of time. Should you do see somebody strolling right here within the USA, they’re often strolling from their residence to their automotive… or from their automotive to some close by enterprise or retailer. Few individuals appear to stroll simply to stroll.
Massive crowds of individuals stroll by way of the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.
I’m positive that anybody who has ever lived in the US after which traveled abroad has seen this phenomenon. Or perhaps you’ve lived abroad after which come to the US and seen the identical factor? The reality is, my observations will not be distinctive. There are a selection of explanation why American’s don’t stroll (i.e. an elevated reliance on automobiles, the larger distance between cities and buildings, the unfavorable social strain that’s exerted on those that stroll, and so on.), however it troubles me in a small and unusual sort of approach simply how international we Individuals are to the idea of strolling.
Extra importantly, I now notice the social advantages of strolling. In a lot the identical approach that using a bicycle means that you can work together with the locals and cease to talk with these you meet alongside the way in which, strolling is a good way to fulfill and get to know different people. Once you don’t stroll and as a substitute defend your self inside the protection of a motor vehicle, you might be shutting your self off from the opportunity of speaking to a different human being.
This, in fact, is ok in some conditions. There have been many instances in my life the place I merely didn’t need to discuss to anybody else at that given second. However now that I’ve skilled each worlds (the world that walks and the world that doesn’t), I’ve to say that I desperately miss the strolling world.
Now that I’m again in the US (in the intervening time), I miss having the ability to stroll exterior my door and discuss to my neighbors. I miss not having the ability to simply stroll to my native market (as a result of it’s too far-off for me to simply stroll to). And greater than something, I miss the straightforward social interactions that strolling gives. I miss all that, and despite the fact that I do know I’ll be returning to Europe quickly (the place strolling is the norm), I want that after I left my mother or father’s residence this night I weren’t strolling on their lonesome.
An previous girl walks by way of the streets of Lviv, Ukraine.