Through lockdown, we have all been pounding the pavements close to home. It has been a while since we have been able to wander further afield. It might seem like your route is boring and samey, which makes your walk less inspiring.
What to do when your walking route gets boring
It is not just lockdown which might dictate that you need to travel to the same destination from home each day. Your walking commute (or reverse commute in my case) can mean that you have a certain place to be. Of course we will initially have come up with a route which might get us there the quickest or is the easiest. We will then get into a routine of going that way because we get to work on time. Or even simply go into automatic mode and don’t even think about it. This latter one is part of the problem with a route becoming boring. You have stopped looking and probably fallen into a rut.
Check out a map or wander
I would hazard a guess that you probably do have more than one route you can walk. Whether it is a dog leg detour down a different street, down a ginnel/alley/jitty/side street you have never been down before or by heading out of your street the other way round. Of course, this might have some time implications on your journey or commute. My favourite thing to do is to wander and see where I can walk in the direction I am aiming for. I will often do it when I don’t have a morning meeting or when I have some free time for an adventure on the weekend. I use these as a way to see how I can add some oomph to my walks.
If you’re short on time, then looking at a map is a great way to find different ways to walk. You can use Plot a Route to help you to determine mileage if that is something you need to monitor. It will let you digitally wander while you enjoy a brew.
Grab a walk buddy or chat to the people you meet
Get online, speak with friends, call out on social media, chat with people you meet. However you do it, grab yourself a walking buddy. I have Jit, of course, but I don’t always walk with him. I love nothing more than greeting the people I meet along the way and getting into conversations. Not only do I learn things, I build a lovely connection with the people in my community which helps bring a natural high to the walk and to getting out on the same route regularly. The people change the route.
Don’t stop looking
If you really are stuck with one single route, you can keep it interesting my not stopping looking. Be aware of your route and pay attention to the things around you. It could be the weeds popping out from the cracks in the pavement. Houses painting the front door or changing where they park the car. Looking at the minute seasonal changes you can see along the route. And no, it doesn’t need to be somewhere full of nature to be able to observe this. The light on the skyscrapers is one of my favourite ways to see the seasons change in the city.
On the note of looking, look up. Look around. See what you can spot which you might have missed. I have been enjoying doing this while wandering around my local area during lockdown. It has helped me to discover so many historic buildings, churches and hidden history. It is so easy to look at the places at general eye level – which are more than likely boring plastic shop fronts, that I agree are not so inspiring. (although, saying that, they can have their funny bits!)
It’s the small things
- Taking a wander or checking a map
- Exploring side streets along the way
- Looking up and around
- Keeping an eye out for changes – a daily urban spot the difference
- Grab a buddy
- Make some commuting friends along your route
- Research your area and take time to hunt out things from your findings
- Become a nature spotter
After all that, what I think I would also like to remind you is to stay curious. Every minute of every single day, we change. Our environment changes, the weather and seasons change. Looking around and keeping an eye out for those little things helps make the ‘same old route’ an interesting adventure each time.