Walking only

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Walking only

Post by conwy » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Over the past year or so I've been working on gradually ditching public and private transport almost entirely, and walking only as much as possible.

To make this doable, I've made sure to live in an area that's within:
- 1 hour of work
- 10 minutes of shops
- 20-30 minutes of a work-out park (trying to avoid gym)

I say almost entirely because it's going to rain a fair bit in London, and I might occasionally fall-back on buses (the cheapest public option available here).

I'm planning to move again soon, to a place that's a bit cheaper and even closer to work/shops/park, and then just keep moving whenever I find something cheaper and closer.

I've also found ways to improve my walking experience, and make it as nice as possible so that I stick with it:
- Bought a very nice, quality set of earphones, so I can enjoy listening to music, podcasts, etc, while walking
- Bought some cheap, comfortable and lightweight shoes for long walks, which I can stuff in my backpack while I'm wearing nicer shoes (e.g. at work)
- Bought a very warm, waterproof hooded jacket, for any weather
- I own a nice large backpack, that I now take everywhere with me, and can use to store shopping and/or stow shoes, clothes, etc
- Found nicer routes on Google Maps when possible (e.g. more scenic or less polluted)

For my past couple of weeks in London, I've generally been sticking to walking-only and saving lots by not using the tube.

Keen to hear other people's thoughts and experiences. Have you committed to walking only? Any tips to share?

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Re: Walking only

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:01 am

Good suggestion. I keep telling myself that my ideal lifestyle, like Thoreau's, would include 4 hours of walking most days, but I never approach that level except when engaged in scenic hiking while traveling. My excuses would be lack of scenery in some of my locales, too lazy to walk and then engage in activity that also requires exertion such as chasing young children or gardening, and some safety issues. There are also a handful of days each year in my region where the weather would be quite prohibitive without access to warming stations along route due to possibility of frost-bite.

I suppose for somebody who was already very thin (not me!), it might also be the case that the extra kilocalories required to walk could make biking the more frugal choice, if bike acquisition/maintenance costs were minimized.

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Re: Walking only

Post by FRx » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:00 am

When I first moved to Portland, Oregon (fairly walk friendly) I decided to park the car for a week and not use it. Since then I haven't owned a car and relied initially mostly on biking. I really didn't have the stamina for walking initially but after a while I pretty much walked anything under and hour.

Like yourself I will on occasion rely on public transport or Uber if needed. Now that I'm retired I don't have far fewer time constraints which makes it easier to plan a walk/bike even in bad weather.

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Re: Walking only

Post by Smashter » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:49 am

Nice headphones make a big difference for me, especially when walking a route with a lot of bus traffic. But, I also make a point to take headphone-free walks. It's nice to be able to just be with your thoughts, as opposed to constantly being stimulated. Also, I love catching snippets of other people's conversations, so I try to not wear headphones every time I'm in a public place.

I'm currently reading David Sedaris' latest book, which is a collection of diary entries. The funniest entries are usually re-tellings of hilarious things he overheard or oversaw while walking about. I wonder how his experience as a writer and thinker would have changed had he grown up in a world where he wore headphones 24/7. Same goes for Thoreau, although that's a little harder for me to imagine since the technology was sooooo far off when he was going on his 4 hour walks.

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Re: Walking only

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:17 am

I walk exclusively for transportation 5-6 days a week. Interesting environment with lots of stimulation and cool things to do/cool people to meet makes this easier. Will likely have a small motor cycle at some point to get around if I stick here long.

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Re: Walking only

Post by Seppia » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:50 am

During my 6 years in New York, walking was how I moved around 75% of the time, the rest being citibike and very occasionally the subway (my subway costs were never more than $25 per month which equates to 10 rides).
I was in significantly better shape than I am now (20lbs lighter) that I'm obliged to commute to work by car.
I would be headphone free most of the time, mainly 1) to better be immersed in the awesome scenery (lived around battery park) and 2) for safety reasons (I liked to be very aware of my surroundings).

If everything goes according to plan, in anywhere between 3 and 5 years I should be able to put work as a secondary priority.
When that's the case, among the most important aspects of the new job I'll be looking for there will be
- shorter hours to allow more time for living (I currently work 10 hour days with extremely frequent international travel)
- walk-friendly office location.
There's a LOT of walking in my ideal lifestyle, I would agree with 7w5 on the 4 hours approx per day as a target

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Re: Walking only

Post by Clarice » Fri May 11, 2018 7:38 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:01 am
There are also a handful of days each year in my region where the weather would be quite prohibitive without access to warming stations along route due to possibility of frost-bite.
Hmmm... Frost-bite is easily addressed with warm mittens (NOT gloves) and a wool shawl over your head covering everything, but your eyes. I've got a lot of experience in really cold weather as a child. My dad often worked in Northern Russia. My mom and I visited him there. No going outside weather was -40 degree Celsius (it's the same in Fahrenheit). How did the kids know it was -40 degrees? There was a heuristic for that: if your spit hit the ground as ice it is -40 degrees. :o

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Re: Walking only

Post by Johnnyboi1337 » Thu May 17, 2018 4:12 pm

I recently made a big step and move from a car-reliant city (Phoenix, Arizona) to a much more walkable city (Cluj-Napoca, Romania).

I used to have serious back problems from sitting too much. Not too long ago, I noticed that my back didn't hurt! All that walking definitely helps and of course I'm saving money on the cost of owning a car :)

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Re: Walking only

Post by wolf » Fri May 18, 2018 2:26 pm

Congratulations Johnnyboi1337. I do also walk many times. In combination with my bike I find it quite perfect. Well, it depends where you live, where you work and where you can shop groceries etc. But overall, I think if everything is reachable within 15-20km walking and biking is a possible solution. But if I could only walk, I would have a problem, because I couldn't get to my work place.

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Re: Walking only

Post by jacob » Sat May 19, 2018 12:26 pm

I talk about my walking experience in the ERE book.

Optimal gear makes a big difference on the comfort level. I never understood why mundanes would always take a bus or a taxi until I tried walking a mile in casual/dress shoes; or why they wouldn't go anywhere if it rained, alternatively run for cover in the slightest drizzle.

Umbrellas are vastly underrated. A collapsable one will fit in a napoleon pocket. There's no need for a big ass umbrella, even if you have a big ass. Hoods are mainly useful if it's really cold or you're on a bike. Also consider wide-brimmed hats. They're like a very small umbrella.

If you have your pick of location, make the supermarket distance the shortest. IMHO a daily 2x5km walk to work beats a weekly 2km walk buying 20kg of groceries and hauling it back. Forget about carts and similar. Get a backpack.

After having acquired multiple bikes and a car (which I don't drive), I can appreciate my past hassle-free existence of not owning vehicles. It's a kind of transportation minimalism.

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