When we are little and we learn how to walk we understand that thanks to this very useful skill we will be able to get to places we want to without anyone carrying us there. We take our first steps without giving it too much reason but soon enough we realized that we don’t walk just because, we walk to get somewhere. When we grow, walking become the most natural thing: we wake up and we walk to the bathroom, we walk to school, to friends, to the office. We walk to the kitchen to get coffee, we walk to the cinema to watch a movie and we walk to the bus stop to go further than we desire to go by foot. Walking is just a mean and not a purpose, walking doesn’t mean much besides being important as something that allows us to move from place to place. Walking doesn’t have any deeper meaning.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Walking can actually have a lot of meaning and a lot of reason. Walking can be a way of meditating and walking can ease a pain we carry in our hearts and souls.
My four day trip to London that have finished only yesterday involved a lot of walking. And not the kind of walking you are thinking about – most of the time I didn’t walk to get anywhere, I walked to think, to feel better. I walked without a reason, without any ending point. I walked in the rain and I walked in the sun, I didn’t care. I enjoyed the things I encountered on my way, I stared at people and urban architecture, I smiled, I had some small talks and I’ve stopped to have a coffee when I was completely soak – yet I didn’t go to any specific direction, I didn’t have any place to go. I’ve played a game a friend taught me once – when I was getting to the traffic lights I would go where the green light allowed me. I didn’t stop almost anywhere – If you don’t go to any specific place there is always a green light inviting you to cross the street.
London is a great city and as the landscapes are constantly changing even a simply walk without a purpose is interesting . My thoughts were passing through my head as my feet were passing through loud streets of that amazing city. As my legs were moving smoothly so my thoughts were floating without encountering any obstacles, they could come and go when and how they wanted. It’s not something that happens that often, we usually block uncomfortable thoughts and look for distractions to drown out that unpleasant rush in our heads. This time, as I let my feet to go wherever they wanted, I let my thoughts to flow any direction.
It was purifying and it felt amazing. As the weather was changing so my thoughts were: from sunny ones to rainy ones, from warm ones to cold ones. It was a bit of a roller-coaster but somehow in the end, it came to a balance. Surprisingly, this time I didn’t mind crazy British weather as I didn’t mind those thoughts to go wild in my head.
The whole trip was much more than just walking of course. I’ve visited a few really nice places and I met some friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. I made some new friends, had some awesome talks, great wine and super tasty dinner cooked especially for me. London was simply amazing and I truly fell in love with it. Now, I can’t actually believe that I’m saying that because the weather is usually very annoying and it doesn’t have any beach but I actually think that I would like to live there for a while one day.
When I visited London almost 10 years ago I was thrilled to discover how differently and how freely people live there. I come from a place where I would be constantly judged by who I was, how I looked and what I was doing – London gave me complete opposite feeling and was a breaking point for me. Since the very first time I put my feet there I knew that I have to run away from my home town and start to be a person that I always wanted to be without feeling guilty about that. And so I did.
Although now I don’t have a problem with pursuing my dreams and being a person I actually like and not a person someone told me I have to be, being in London was a good reminder of an old truth that I got to realize many years ago. There is no one universal way of living that can fit everyone and there is nothing wrong with living your life differently. There is no one perfect model of relationship, friendships as there is no perfect love; not everyone has to get a mortgage and not everyone has to travel to be happy. Some people hate cheese and others can’t stand the taste of a beer – there is no reason to compare ourselves with others (even if there are our family or closest friends) and there is no reason to compare others to us. Getting in peace with ourselves and the world doesn’t need to imply getting numb and indifferent to what’s going on around and…walking can actually make you feel better than hours spent at a shrink office. And it’s free 😉