I’ve always been a pedestrian.
When we were little mum often walked to the shops rather than taking the bus. She used to use a big English pram and later a stroller, or pushchair as we used to say, and take us along before we were big enough to walk the whole way. I think it is because of that we were always prepared to walk if we needed to go somewhere.
We walked to school, we walked to our local shopping centre and the larger town one sometimes. When we were old enough to be allowed to go to Adelaide on our own we walked to the railway station and back again. We didn’t expect to be driven everywhere. Mum didn’t drive anyway so there wasn’t a lot of choice in the matter.
We even walked to Adelaide from home, about 11kms, a few times when we wanted to attend an afternoon concert or a movie in the city and there were no buses.
I still think that walking is the best way to explore a city. The first summer I spent working in Hobart I often had to wait more than an hour after work before I could get a bus home. I often spent that time walking around the CBD getting to know the streets. I was quite proud the day that I was able to tell one of my Tasmanian born workmates where a certain business was because I’d seen it on a walk.
Some of my best holiday memories are of walks. The first time I visited London as an adult I went for a long walk along Victoria Embankment.
There was also my walk along the Great Wall of China, another one I’ll never forget.
My walks now are not so dramatic. I just walk around the neighbourhood with Cindy. But these days I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a pedestrian anywhere.