By now you may be aware that TrekSimple is run by a couple of nerds who will use every opportunity to make nerd references. And, as the summer of quarantine rolls on, this quote seemed appropriate:
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
I see more and more friends on my social media feeds either taking trips that center around hiking and nature, or simply taking advantage of opportunities to walk and discover their own neighborhoods and/or parks in local areas. I’ve been lucky to do both to a small degree this summer and I’m hoping to make a daily neighborhood walk part of my morning routine moving forward.
Epic walks that would make a Hobbit proud are one of the ways I treat myself to a travel experience without going anywhere. Walks are 100% pandemic approved, especially when you bring along a mask, either to wear the entire time, or to have on you just in case you end up around a group of people. During these times, I move off of the sidewalk to give my neighbors a wide (six-foot-plus) berth, so neither of us has to worry about sharing any corona-cooties.
Walking is a great family- and dog-friendly activity, and of course there are the health benefits associated with getting up and moving around. If you’re still working from home, it’s a great way to get out of the house and break up your day, and if you’re back in your workplace, like I am, it’s a good way to get in some “me time” and a change of scenery. With many gyms still closed or operating at reduced capacity, it’s also a good way to be active safely, and even spend time with friends you haven’t seen, at a safe distance.
I understand that even living in a walkable neighborhood and being able to walk or run without fear of being bothered by anyone, especially when it’s dark, is a form of privilege that I have, and not everyone has that privilege. If you have the time and resources to get to a place where you feel comfortable walking, such as a public park, trail or beach, or perhaps if you can have a friend join you, there are options to make walking a more regular part of your routine. Please be safe, friends.
South Florida at the height of summer is quite hot and humid, so I’ve taken to walking in the evening or very early in the morning. One bonus of walking early is that you get to see the sunrise and start your day on a positive, healthy note. I like to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, so I’m also learning, or at least being entertained, along the way.
Perhaps my favorite part of taking epic walks around my neighborhood is getting to fully embrace my inner real estate geek. I am fascinated by the little details, landscaping, cool plants, funky ironwork, wind chimes, yard statues, and the like. I like looking at homes and guessing when they were built and what the home’s value may be. My neighborhood in downtown Fort Lauderdale is varied, with ultra-modern, million-dollar homes next to multi-family homes and apartments. Each homeowner’s style is reflected in the exterior of the home and little details in the yard and there is always the element of surprise and delight. And, don’t forget the animals. Here it’s not out of the ordinary to see wild peacocks, iguanas and parrots.
Even if you’re not nerding out on Mid Century Modern breeze brick or Victorian gingerbread, or asking yourself if you really just heard a flock of parrots pass overhead, there are so many interesting details to see when you get out and walk, versus only driving in your neighborhood.
What unique, beautiful or weird things have you spotted on a walk that you never would have noticed otherwise?