What’s good about solo backpacking is that you can walk a lot. You can save your money and while traveling to as many places in the city as you want, the potential of ‘feeling’ places expands to infinity. So for me, the happiest moment of traveling was when I was walking. You avoid using public transportation as much as possible and just walk. Crisscrossing the busy city and peacefully walking through a park… that moment unexpectedly becomes the moment of ‘breathing.’ It is not about exploring seemingly famous places. This traveling technique gives you happiness that you can only feel when exploring the life of more private places.
One of the best spots for travel walking is Tokyo, Japan.
If you walk the quiet alleys away from the central locations, such as fancy Shibuya, narrow alleys are connected to one another like a spider web. A variety of houses, including the old charming houses, trees and little flower pots are naturally harmonized and charming as seen as one.
Stories of their life are embedded in the alleyways. These are spaces where you can even listen to the ordinary breath of ordinary people: what kind of flowers these people like, what they load on their bikes, what is on their dinner menu tonight… you feel this beautiful moment.
You also won’t miss the opportunity to meet alley cats, resting comfortably.
I do not get embarrassed with dead ends.
Such a fabulous sunshine is greeting me there.
In order to enjoy a ‘walking travel,’ I must visit mountains or forests, or at least parks, no matter which cities I visit. I search for soil trails and walk along them, like this dense forest I met in Canada.
The moment I meet soil trails, I take off my shoes and socks. I cannot possibly describe the happiness in words of the moment I take the first step. It is a feeling that we have forgotten for so long. Since when did we have to separate ourselves from soil with such things called shoes? This happiness even brings to mind such a fundamental question. Somebody worries if a little stone gets stuck or hurts his/her soft feet. However, from my nearly-ten-year-experience of walking all kinds of soil trails and even climbing a stiff mountain with bare feet, this never happened. At the moment I trust nature with my body and rely on it, nature offers its bosom generously.
An experience of becoming one with nature and walking with the body that nature has given is truly precious. Moreover, this ‘walking travel’ does not require you to be somewhere far, such as Japan or Canada. Look around where you live. Walk along alleys around your place and when you meet even a small forest, abandon yourself and modestly meet the Mother Earth. You will realize that real happiness is not far away.