I am a walker by nature. I’ve never really liked to drive, and did my best to avoid when I was finally able to get my driver’s license. Part of this is because I lived 20 miles from my high school, and worked 20 miles in the opposite direction. I spent my late teens driving everywhere. When I got to college and didn’t have a car (that worked well), I rarely drove, and it made me so happy. After graduating I traveled by bike everywhere, and that changed my life, and put me in the best shape I’ve ever been.
When I get around Portland I prefer to walk everywhere; there is too much to see in this city that is so easily overlooked if you are speeding by in a car. Even if I am carrying obscene amounts of groceries, I prefer to peregrinate my way through the neighborhood, snaking around the side streets and main roads, on a different path each time, so that I can take in everything around me. There’s something you miss when you are not walking.
About a year ago I read a book about neuroscience, Satisfaction by Gregory Berns, and he talked about how people come to their “Aha!” moments typically while engaging themselves in some kind of other activity where their brain is able to disengage and focus on other things. I’ve come to learn that I have my greatest thoughts and realizations while I amble about the streets as a pedestrian, peregrinating my way through my emotions, thoughts, and feelings on a journey to self-realization. I would suggest you give it a try, 20-40 minutes a day, and you will see a difference in the clarity of your mental state, as if you meditated.