“Why walk when you could get an Uber?”
That’s what my friend asked me when I told him my family and I had walked over 40 miles in four and a half days in Manhattan.
So why walk rather than Uber?
Because the beauty is in the wander.
When we walked to fulfil our son’s desire to check out the Labor skate shop on the Lower East Side we were were taken by the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown.
Wandering the streets to our dinner reservation in Greenwich Village meant we got to enjoy the dogs having fun in the Madison Park dog run; we were soothed by the magical early evening light on Washington Square Park; we stumbled upon The Half Pint in the village where we decided to have a pre dinner drink.
Following our nose through the West Village led us serendipitously to the wonderful Buvette restaurant I’d read about by chance only the day before.
If we’d jumped in an Uber, we’d have missed out on all these experiences that proved to be the highlights of our NYC family break.
Wandering around and staying curious is also my philosophy for a life well-lived.
In my work life I love to explore and discover, embracing the ‘unplan’ over a rigid strategy. I’ll go for the ‘less efficient’ route down side streets rather than take the main avenue. I always try to live in the now with my eyes open, so I notice and am aware of the good stuff around me.
It’s an approach that has led me to eke out the most of opportunities, of getting as much joy from the journey as from reaching the destination. Life isn’t a taxi ride, to get from A to B as quickly as possible. If you do that, you skip past all the glorious quirks and interesting side shows that are hidden just around the next corner: all those experiences that bring colour and joy to life.
Whether on holiday or at work: the beauty is in the wander.