In his book Andrew J. Nalian explains that there are many advantages to walking or riding your bike places as opposed to driving a car. Some advantages he lists include reducing your carbon footprint, saving money on gas, and becoming a healthier human. I agree that each of these is an advantage to walking, but in my experience I have found that the best advantage is the spirit of adventure which can only be found by traveling of your own man-power.
Normally when traveling into town or to any location on Mission street in Mount Pleasant, my first choice of transportation is my car. However, in choosing to arrive at Sally’s Beauty Salon via nothing more than my own two feet I was able to experience a sense of adventure that nothing else could have given me on that day! I was able to see the earth on a more up-close and personal level while I completed one of the more menial tasks on my agenda. Even better than all this, I had the privilege of experiencing this with a great friend of mine, I call her Jess!
Now, I believe that you will still reap all of the benefits of replacing your car with a self-powered form of transportation if you go one mile, two miles,or even half a mile. You don’t need to travel ten or twenty miles to experience adventure or feel that you’ve made a carbon difference. In this instance Jess and I traveled a total of four miles round trip to buy a pair of scissors at the local Sally’s Beauty Salon. An errand that would normally have taken us five minutes to complete with a car took about two hours to finish. Some people argue that this is a main downside to traveling via foot, but I disagree, I feel it is in fact where the most adventure lies. The trip didn’t last two hours because we are actually that much slower on foot, but instead because we had broken free from the shell of a vehicle we were able to allow our curious minds to take action and our feet to wander. I said hello to many more people and discovered new routes that I wouldn’t have been able to had I been in my car the entire way there.
The spirit of adventure is a hard thing to capture in a sentence or two, even paragraphs are not enough to do it proper justice. I hope that instead of trusting and taking my word for it, that you go out and experience it for yourself! Save the miles on your car and put some on your sneakers instead! You could not possibly regret it!