I love to fly. I worked my entire life on a daily basis before I moved back to Japan in 2015. Since then, though, most of my holidays have been spent traveling back to France to visit my family. I’m not going to pretend, I miss moving around the world and finding new areas.
Over the last 6 months, though, I’ve found a way to overcome this desire to leave: to stroll around the city.
It’s not about getting that far.
When we talk of flying, we’re still looking at an exciting land full of wonders. It’s a place where society scares us. An world that we still don’t get to see.
When I was a kid, I would take a photo of myself flying to Japan, the United States, Colombia, Australia or Indonesia. Traveling across Europe, I felt like I wouldn’t be surprised. Yet every summer, I will go somewhere in Europe and always come back with stars in my head.
Nowadays, I live on the small island that we call Japan. Yeah, it’s pretty high. Yet it’s just only half the size of France. There’s no nearby country to get to in a couple hours by rail. As a result, a solution was found: to explore my neighborhood.
Traveling is a form of fun.
What does it bring to the other side of the planet? The exhilarating incentive of hearing that you did it. There are also several other things, but what’s left on our heads is what’s new. What the heck feels different.
How do you feel about that?
The innovation itself doesn’t even have to be new. It might be the sensation of something different, too. You will live a new moment, enjoy it, and go home and feel like it wasn’t the first time.
Some things are so incredible that they sound like they’re new, even after 100 years.
While I was in Paris, I took the metro to the Eiffel Tower twice a week for two years. I stared up in surprise every moment. Still, almost every single day, I go up the hill behind my place to look at Mount Fuji in the distance.
I’ve seen all of them numerous times. Yet they still sound a little different. They’re making my mind fly further further.
And that’s what it’s like to move in your area. It’s about getting your mind to drift about and see the magic of small things about you.
Were you in? Sure, time to dive in the nitty-gritty.
What do you dress for a ride in your neighborhood?
Start by opening the Google Maps tab. Look at your well-known neighborhood. See? See? This is the store you’re going to. You can see the hairdresser and the park next to it. There’s a coffee shop you love.
When you haven’t saved a place on Google Maps, make a mental note of the spot you go to on a daily basis. And you’re going to see yourself in the street.
Find a place far from where you are. How long are you going to take to get there on foot? 10-15 minutes, huh? 30 minutes, huh? 1 hour, huh?
As a beginner, you would want to stick to a spot about 10 to 15 minutes away. Have a final brief look at the map, put the phone in your pocket, and continue going there.
No radio, no cell in hand, forget about the idea of time.
You know where you’re headed. You’ve been there before, so you probably still have a kind of mind map of the region. Start walking and have a look around.
See the rose blooming over here? The window in the form of a moon? The dog sleeping at the door of the house? The lights in the bedrooms of this tower? Yeah, so what is that?
When you walk, you find a path that you’ve been avoiding for the longest time. Go in there, man. If you’re going to end up, that won’t change. It is your neighborhood, after all. You’re expected to find the path out. Yet the road you’re going down is about to change.
Discover the peaceful cul-de-sac around the corner. Appreciate how the buildings around here have a different layout than those in your lane. See the trees in the distance, huh? You’ve never seen them in close contact, have you? Now is the moment.
When you walk around, make a point of going to some street that you haven’t put a foot in so far. You’re expected to have a revived passion in your neighborhood.
When you keep doing this, continue going more and farther, give yourself some time. You’re starting to know that this could be easier than flying further, for three reasons.
- You can do it every day you want to do it.
- It’s a calming thing that’s perfect for the body.
- It’s a lot better than going to the other side of the planet.