I am a busy person with lots of interests, but I’ve recently been thinking a lot about what makes me the happiest. Walking is up near the top of my list. I love to get out and observe the world, and I enjoy the rhythm of the activity itself. In the last week I’ve seen tiger swallowtail butterflies, an urban garden that was new to me, and a bloom of jellyfish. I saw this and much more because I was outside to see it.
I live in Seattle and have been walking daily, so I tend to walk a lot of urban sidewalks in my quest for miles. I am trying to get in at least 10,000 steps a day so I’ll be able to walk for years to come. I find my activity tracker very helpful because I tend to walk more if I’m getting credit for it. It’s silly because the walk would benefit my body either way, but I walk extra just to see the step count add up. The mind is a tricky place.
I’ve also found another nifty tool to motivate my walk. There are a number of sites around the internet that allow you to virtually hike trails. You add your step counts, and the sites will show you where you are along the path. Some of the sites will even show you pictures of the places you’ve just walked. I’m currently walking a virtual trail in Vermont, and I’m really enjoying the view.
Fun walking sites for you to explore (click on the links to be taken there):
- Walking for fun: This is the site I’m currently using. I plan to put a banner on the side of my site, and I hope it continues to update my mileage. The site has lots of different trails to walk. I started with a trail around Crater Lake, and I’m now walking the Long Trail in Vermont. I enjoy seeing my statistics add up and getting the little award badges. Free.
- A virtual walk across the USA: The U.S. government has a site which allows you to walk from the West Coast to the East Coast. I haven’t yet tried it, as I feel like I should only virtually walk one trail at a time, but it looks fun. Free.
- Walking with Attitude: This site has a lot of challenge maps and looks like it gives out some walking advice. It also has award badges and a social component, but this site isn’t free. It looks interesting, but right now not interesting enough for me to pay for it. Paid.
I’m doing all this walking with the eventual goal of a walking vacation in Yorkshire. This has been a goal of mine since I was small, and I want to be in shape for it when I can save up the money to go. In the meantime I’ll be enjoying the many benefits that walking brings. Perhaps I’ll see you out on the virtual trails.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
278. What makes you happy? How are you including it in your week? Make a plan. If you like walking, consider checking out the sites above.