Long Walks

by - May 27, 2018

One of the things that I appreciate about my life here in the province, especially in our neck of the woods, is that we can take long walks. Sure, you can do that in any part of the country, but where I’m from, I can do it without worrying about pollution, traffic or getting mugged/robbed (something that I was concerned about when I was living and working in the Metro). I think it helps that I’m from a place where everybody practically knows everybody. There’s always around 3 (or less) degrees of separation between you and any person you will run into in the neighborhood. 

When I first moved to the province, I had to adjust a bit to the whole walking thing. When I lived in the city I didn’t do much of it even if I did commute because there was always a public utility vehicle I could take to get where I needed to go. Here in the province, if people can walk to the destination, they will walk. It was surprising to find out that when you ask directions and they say you can walk to that place, they sometimes mean it is a long walk. A REALLY long walk (which is normal for them by the way). That caught me off-guard, but I’m used to it now (as opposed to the whole huffing, puffing and midway complaining that I would do wondering how much farther I had to walk to get to my destination).

a view of 1/3 of my morning walk to work

These days I walk 5-10 minutes to get to the main road where I can get a ride to and from work. Sometimes that walk can be brutal (given the summer heat these days, it really is) but sometimes it can be a good thing. During my morning walks I run into parents sending their kids off to school. Sometimes I run into a bunch of kids who are walking to school and I hear about what they were excited to do that day. Other times I’ve seen farmers getting ready to go to work on the fields and farmers who were already working on the land with their carabao. 

On my way home, my walks end up with views of people outside their homes catching up with their neighbors. Or kids on their way to the basketball court to play with their friends. I run into people and sometimes people just smile in greeting even if you don’t know them (and it’s perfectly fine/normal). It’s not creepy and it’s not weird at all. It’s a neighborly kind of thing, something that I had not experienced much of when I lived in the city.

Not only do I get to observe people (which I happen to enjoy doing) during my long walks but they also help me to have time for myself. It’s the only time when I don’t have the noise and pressure of work in my head. It’s the only time when I don’t have every responsibility hanging over my head in my thoughts. It’s just all about the walk. It’s all about me. I get to think, decompress and relax as I appreciate the world around me. 

Another thing that I love about my long walks is when I get to leave the house early or when I go home a bit late. During very early morning walks I get to see morning dew on the leaves of the tress I pass by. There is a different glow to everything early in the morning just as the sun has come up. It’s beautiful. I also get to see the beauty of mother nature when I go home just as the sun is about to set. The colors in the sky shifts from blue to various shades of orange, pink, purple and dark blue…it is never the same color every time. It’s amazing.

If not for the intense summer heat, I’d be walking a bit slower and enjoying it a bit more. These past few weeks have been too difficult for me to stroll the way I normally do. These days I tend to power/brisk walk to get to where I need to go. The faster I can get to an airconditioned room, the better. The heat is brutal!

I wish the summer would end so that I could go back to my normal walking routine (yes, I still walk even when it’s raining, which is a different experience altogether). I miss enjoying this experience. I’d love to have it back!

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