Monday, May 11, 2015

To Take A Walk

I never knew that walking could be enjoyable. I often heard a fictional character say, "let's take a walk," but I had never been able to relate to that, not before I came to England.

York, it turns out, is one of the best places to walk. Everything looks so pretty, the pavements are wide enough, and you can choose to either walk by a river, a big road, or a city centre. You can also walk in the garden or even around the university. And, pedestrians have priority over cars in the UK, which means that the driver will always stop when you seem like you want to cross the street. It's soothing and convenient.

York city centre

Walking by the city wall

The pavement

And now that it's spring, it's even better. It's usually around 12-17 degrees, hence warm enough not to wear any coat, but cold enough to feel the wind breeze. During the season, you can also smell the scent of wet grass and flowers. Ah, even I never noticed how beautiful flowers can be. It's definitely one of the things I took for granted back home. But after you've been through winter, you'll be so excited to see the flowers bloom again. I don't mind winter, but who could resist the allure of spring?

Daisies, daisies everywhere
"We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slow us down." - Robert Sweetgall

I like to walk alone when I feel like I need some me-time. When I had a rough week and need some time-off. I usually walk around the city centre, enter a few shops I like (as I also prefer to shop alone), and sometimes just wander around farther, just because I want to. I do walk slow, because walking is all about enjoying the journey. I like to hear the sound of people chatting or the bird chirping, but sometimes, I also prefer to put on my earphone to be completely away. Sometimes it's more relaxing that way. 

If I long for a deep conversation, walking is also the best way to do it. I like to take a long walk around the city with a friend while talking about life. Just two hours or three could recharge my energy for the following week. Unlike talking over coffee (although it's also something that I found enjoyable), having a conversation during a walk is more casual. It can be as light or deep as you want it to be, and it will save you from the necessity to always make an eye contact to your acquaintance. Knowing that I can do two things I like at once (walking and having a conversation) at once, I always get excited whenever my friends told me that they are going to come over to York and ask me to show them around.

I realized that time flies faster than I expected, and before long, I'll be back in my metropolitan, polluted city when walking means feeling unsafe that the cars or motorcycles might somehow run you over. It's definitely one of the things that I'm going to miss about living in the UK.

Come take a walk with me.

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