5 Inspiring, Wonderful Resources on the Simple Joy of Walking

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I recently wrote an article for About.com about the similar health benefits of crochet and walking. In that post, I shared some of my favorite resources about inspired walking. I thought I’d share those here as well, along with a couple of other related resources that I hadn’t mentioned yet.

  • Walk It Off: A Walker’s Rambles. This terrific blog has a lot of information and inspiration for all walkers including people who have never walked regularly before and want to try it out.
  • Walking in this World by Julia Cameron. This book, part of The Artist’s Way series, is a creativity exercise book that also encourages daily walking as part of a creativity plan. It has great tips and information for using movement-based creativity to improve your quality of life. I love the whole series and I was excited when Cameron added the element of walking to the other daily rituals she was already recommending (journaling, etc.)
  • On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation by Andrea Horowitz. In this book the author takes a simple short walk with experts in different fields and discovers that each person sees different things in the world. It’s an inspiring guide for walking and I found that it also gave me a new perspective that infused creativity into my craft work and writing.
  • The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White. This is one of the first books I ever read about walking and it revitalized my own interest in this simple exercise. It’s a book about Paris, a book about the history of wandering, a book about the magic of walking through the world.
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. I’ve fallen in love with author Solnit in recent years. The first book of hers that I read was the one about San Francisco, which someone had given to my beaux as a gift and he had lent to me. I also read Paradise in Hell, her book about how we thrive in big disasters. And I’m currently reading The Faraway Nearby, a memoir about memory and stories. Wanderlust is her book about walking, about all of the different ways we walk and the stories of walking that are intertwined through time and her own experience of walking in my own San Francisco Bay Area.

Where was the last place that you walked? What did you discover?

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On Recent Hilly Walks

I try to get out and walk a lot for exercise and fresh air. With lots of steep hills around me, it’s easy to get that exercise! Here are a few photos of things I’ve seen on recent walks:

Mostly I see a lot of this!

With the occasional sign to let me know in case I wasn’t sure that this was a hill

And some more stairs

With occasionally prettier staircases – this set is the Normandie Stairs

But sometimes the hill will have a dog

Or some beautiful landscaping

Or the occasional historic mansion

Yes, I do love where I live.

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Walking Tours are the Best Way to See a City

One of my favorite things about living in San Francisco (on an admittedly long list of things that I love about this city) is that it’s really a walking city. It’s geographically small, there’s a ton of stuff to see in every neighborhood and lots of other people are out and about walking around. I like that it’s anti-car and that I don’t have to drive here. And I like that it gives me a good excuse to get out, get some exercise and be amidst my neighbors and the visitors to the area.

I try to remember this when I travel to other places. Not every other city is so friendly for walking but I still think that walking around is the best way to really get to know an area. I’ve done some really cool guided walking tours here in San Francisco and I would love to do some in other places throughout the world. Take a look at my list of the top ten cities for walking tours to see where else I’d like to meander around and why.

And drop me a line in the comments here to let me know where else would be a great place to go walking around and exploring. I know there are tons of cities throughout the United States as well as throughout the rest of the world where walking tours are an ideal way to see the sights. I just don’t know where all of them are yet! You can’t be smart about everything all of the time, right? But you can learn, so let me know!

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