I’m about to start my last week here in Lacoste and I am sitting in the library reading a few chapters about walking and rather than absorbing the writer’s words I am distracted by thoughts about everywhere I have walked. I’ve been away from home and away from my normal modes of transportation for almost five months. It feels like I’ve walked all over the world and walking truly does force you to fall into thought. Even on the most crowded sidewalk in Hong Kong I found myself deeply lost in a world of my own ignoring everyone around me.
I remember one time I was rushing to get to the MTR to get to Mong Kok to pick up my film before the SCAD bus left to bring us home, and even in my speed walk I remember thinking about photo ideas and escaping into a world all my own. Here in the much calmer scenery I am rarely alone but even when I’m with other walking still induces the rhythm of thinking that Solnit talks about. Especially here when I’m walking among nature I feel the alignment of my body and thoughts and earth. I often would go up to the Château to scout out shoot locations and would let myself walk around and get lost in the trees.
In Paris it seemed like we never stopped walking, but this was not relaxed walking. More often than not we were walking in groups trying to find our way around. This was the type of walking that induced stress rather than peace. Touristy areas are probably my least favorite placed to try and walk. I don’t like “putsing” (a word I use to describe meandering). The slow walking looking up at things and random stopping gets on my last nerve, and this is what a lot of the areas in Paris we were in were like.
Walking is important to me and my though process, which something I’ve learned while traveling. It allowed me to focus on my thoughts while also exist in the world around me, much like Sonlit says throughout these chapters. It therapeutic and inspiring to let yourself be with yourself and the world around you.