Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to do Alone: Taking A Stroll

The first in the “How to do Alone” series I talked about doing… forever ago. Taking a stroll is probably the most common thing to do alone. Typically, it only requires one person. A brisk 20-minute romp around the neighborhood or nearest nature trail can really change your mood. A meander through the woods or city can reveal new things – a magenta flower hanging wet with rain near a bookstore you have yet to go inside. Strolling is probably the easiest way to remember how to do alone.

What you need:
  Yourself and your preferred mode of foot traffic (sneakers, heels, crutches, wheel chair)
Where to go:
  A nature trail (a trail book or hiking guide for your town may be a place to start)
  A park
  Downtown area

What to do:
  Stroll. You can go one way when venturing out and go an alternate way on your return route.

What you might find yourself doing while alone:
  Noticing details.
  Maybe feeling lonely and wishing you had someone to walk with (This is ok. We’re just starting to do things alone, remember?)
  Thinking about things like the day, your tomorrow, your mom, your cat, what you’re going to have for dinner, your next art project, who you’re going to see that night, who you miss, who you don’t miss, how that house with the shutters is a place you’d like to live if you made more money, how much money you wish you made, how many bills you don’t have because you don’t live in that house with the shutters, the book you want to read, the book you are reading and the annoying character that reminds you of your ex, the heroine that reminds you of yourself, the color or smell or touch or light or sound of whatever.

What you can do to make your walk spicy:
  Take a notebook and jot down your thoughts, ideas, details noticed.
  Try nature journaling. Over a period of time see how things change during your walk during the different seasons.
  Collect leaves, flowers, pieces of paper, or flyers for bands that play. Make a collage of your stroll or press the flowers.
  Take a camera and take pictures of anything you like, people, buildings, greening things.
  Find an old tape recorder and record interesting sounds of your walk (this would be really cool… I should try this on my next alone walk).

My walk:
  I went along the river trail next to my apartment complex. I grabbed my camera and tried to find an umbrella because it looked like rain (again). I started walking along the paved nature trail but veered onto my own muddy paths closer to the river, taking pictures of the flowers that had burst open thanks to spring. I went back home by way of the neighborhood next to the trail. The rain that day had turned everything a darker and more saturated color. The smell was of wet cement and lilacs. The rain started again on my return home and I hadn’t found an umbrella. I stood under a green drippy tree for a few minutes waiting to see if the rain would subside then made a "break" for it...OK, I really just sauntered back home in the rain.

Where are your favorite places to walk alone?


  1. I forget who said it, but I found a lovely quote a while back and this entry made me think of it: "Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet." :)

    I'm glad for the beginning of the guidebook to doing alone! You have captured such a good time in your pretty words and tasty pictures. <3

  2. Some friends and I used to call it, getting lost.
    a good way to go exploring.
    Moskeeto Jack