Walk About, Take In Your Surroundings

Walk About, Take In Your Surroundings
Nick BrothersThe Free Weekly Managing Editor

Nick Brothers
The Free Weekly Managing Editor

Before I begin, I want to point out that this column isn’t for the people who jog, play with their children outside or have dogs that need to be walked often. I understand that’s a ton of you, but this one is for the people of the indoors.

Let’s be honest here. How often do you go straight from inside your house to your car — or leave from your garage — and then go straight to your destination? That used to be me about 95 percent of the time. I presume I’m not alone in this. I’m out and about all the time and I like camping and hiking. But actually walking around the neighborhood where I live now wasn’t something I really did often.

Go ahead, shame me with your bells and blame my generation for being lazy homebodies that only care about screens. For some stupid reason I don’t own a bike (I wish I had one!), and I haven’t been much of a person to find motivation for sticking with a exercise plan. So there wasn’t much of an incentive for me to go beyond the walk to the apartment complex dumpster.

One uneventful night, the idea struck me. I thought to myself that it might be interesting to just go take a walk because the weather felt amazing. So I did. I walked to the nearby trail, and guess what, I saw two deer smack-dab in the middle of town. They stared, freaked the hell out, and then hopped into the nearby woods. That alone made me realize I was missing out.

Now I’ve started taking the initiative to walk around my home neighborhood more, and I have to recommend it. I gotta say, Fayetteville is indeed a pretty cool place to be.

I live within a walking distance of the public library, and that’s one of my favorite walks now. It’s a lot of uphill tomfoolery, but I enjoy how the pace of walking allows for taking in your surroundings in detail. The walk includes some sights, too. I live near an area of several decades-old homes, and the people who live in them all display their personalities in interesting ways.

From taking the time to look at and understand the buildings (some abandoned) along the way I found a curiosity for what I was looking at. Whereas if I were driving, I would probably only have five seconds to think about it before driving past it.

It’s so nice to take in your surroundings; at least for the perspective of it all. I was so used to seeing the world from behind my car windows at 30 miles per hour. The only time you get for safely looking around is at stoplights. Which by the way, shout out to the City of Fayetteville officials for giving drivers the beautiful, painted traffic boxes downtown to ogle at while waiting at a red light.

I know not every neighborhood in Northwest Arkansas has age-old trees, creeks, fancy new housing structures and, hell, even sidewalks to walk on, but walking street side rather than experiencing a city through a car is so much cooler. Unless you live in the middle of a field, I bet you’ll enjoy the opportunity to explore. Maybe one date night isn’t just Netflix, but a nice stroll around the neighborhood?

I’ll admit, as I was walking around town it made me realize that I was sort of disconnected from where I lived. Because I had exclusively driven through most of Fayetteville, I felt like I only had a fraction of an understanding about where I lived and it made me feel like less of a Fayettevillian at the moment.

You see, I wasn’t chillin’ enough in my ‘Ville. When I increased the amount of chillin’ in my ‘Ville, it came with a sense of chill, and with it, I felt more in touch with my surroundings, and thus the community. Like it was where I belonged. Don’t get me wrong though, working this job, I’ve definitely gained a profound love and appreciation for this community and what it does. This experience just provided a new dimension to it all.

Not everyone will have the time or convenience of being able to walk to their destinations. But next time you find yourself bored after work or on a weekend, and you’re like I used to be when I only walked to my car, give it a go.

Thanks for reading.

Categories: Commentary