“Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
‘Ride,’ Pleasure said;
‘Walk,’ Joy replied.”
It started because I had no other option and now, walking and exploring the place has become a ritual for spending the first day at any place. This practice has only pros and no cons. I can’t stress enough on why it is a great idea to “explore the place on foot”! So, here, I have made a list of 11 reasons why you MUST walk too!
1) Walking reduces the pace and gives us time to observe the surroundings and be a part of it. In the cities, life is very fast. There is hardly any transition time. Things just keep happening one after the other. Spending the first day walking on vacation, makes us realise that the journey is as important as the destination!
2) It gets us into the vacation mode. We are trapped in a Work-Eat-Sleep cycle in our busy daily lives. Taking a walk slows our thought process down and makes us mentally calm. It takes us into a stress-free vacation mode!
3) Getting lost in the streets may lead you to discover some amazing places and spots that you would otherwise have missed out. That is precisely how I came across Ambrai in Udaipur. I was glad! If I knew of the place, it would not have surprised me as much as it did when I reached it unplanned.
In Rishikesh, we lost our way to the Beatles Ashram and reached a shore instead. It was one of the most beautiful spots I had ever seen and we spent the entire day exploring it!
4) Sometimes, while walking, the view from a specific spot might just leave you spell bound! And, you will have all the time to pause and absorb the moment. No honking traffic, no stress of finding a place to park, no extra waiting charges!
I spent an hour near a pond on the way to Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur!
In Pushkar, I sat on a ghat and then, took a round of all the 52 ghats.
5) You get to see the local culture and lifestyle of the place closely. Being a pedestrian opens you up to the ground reality of the place (pun intended!). You feel more connected to a place when you walk.
6) You will definitely meet some people you’ll never forget in your entire life! That is how I met Anjuna in Rishikesh. A pure soul with a strong mind and immense dedication to art. She makes beautiful art despite the big challenge life has put in her way. She will continue to inspire me throughout my life!
7) Along with amazing people, you’ll meet people who’ll test your patience to the ultimate level! Like the guy who followed me in Pushkar! Such experiences will teach you to better tackle such situations in future. You’ll only emerge stronger!
8) There are many local eateries and street food outlets or handicraft stores that aren’t mentioned in the guide books or blogs. You will definitely find some places of that sort! You can then give people a personalised suggestions on the place (ain’t it cool to be a pro?).
9) You might reach some rural settlements in the vicinity. Often, the residents invite you to explore the place. You will end up having an amazing day- interacting and dinning with the people!
It happened in Kutla when I was walking around, looking for a place to take shower! It feels great and you learn some interesting things about the place. And, again, plus one to the pro-factor!
In Pushkar, A Gypsy Camel Safari Guide invited me to see his camels. He told me about the life of the gypsies and how the development of tourism in the area helped their economy.
10) Walking is healthy, you’re saving the environment and it is free, hence, saving money and reducing your budget! I need not elaborate on this one.
11) Last but not the least, there is no problem in giving it a try! If you happen to reach far and get too tired to walk back, you can always take a ride.