All of my life I’ve loved going on long walks. It hasn’t really mattered where the long walks take place, although I do love long walks around nature rather than long walks in the city.
I don’t know, as much as I love looking at the big city from afar, I don’t seem to get the rush that a number of my friends do. I’m thinking about one friend in particular who’s eyes light up every time he mentions wanting to live in a penthouse in Toronto. How he loves the metropolis vibe that Toronto gives off, which I personally still don’t “vibe with.”
Although again, it’s not to say that I hate walking around downtown because let’s be honest, I do like going downtown because the suburbs often feel secluded and unfrequented; however, I do think I vibe much more with the suburbs than the busy city life.
Ready for that, “oversharing” that it seems like us Westerners always seem to do? On my first date with K, we ended up going for a 2 or 3-hour walk because I had absolutely nothing planned. Basically, I told him we should wing it because I was uncertain if we would get along and, to be honest… I feel like walking is the absolute best thing to do when on a first date.
There are no gimmicks, there is nothing for you to really disagree on (other than “I hate nature” which I remember a boy in college saying when I took him to go see the lake by my place) and there is really no need for you to feel like you’re “out of your comfort zone” which I feel like a number of people feel when you take them out to see theatre, or films or any other forms of art.
To be completely candid, it feels like a lot of my first dates that took place in “places of culture” or just “arty outings” in general have felt like people had to try to explain to me that they understood the content we were consuming. While that’s great and all, I personally don’t feel like you need to justify that you consumed “the work we just watched.” Honestly, I feel like a lot of art doesn’t need to be talked about or explained because it can be interpreted in so many different ways as it should be.
I know, this is completely off topic for what I just started with, but I hate that a lot of times people feel they need to vibe with the things I do just to make me respect them, even though I’d probably still respect them even if they said they didn’t understand shit that just went down. I know there are a lot of times I don’t understand the shit in front of me or don’t connect with it and I just take it as a “hmmm… that was interesting, didn’t connect, didn’t relate, didn’t get it… cool!”
Nature, on the other hand, is something I feel we all can appreciate, although in different aspects, which is why I try to continue these long adventures with K as much as possible.
More recently, I brought up the fact that I really want to be going on hour if not 2-hour long walks with K. Not only to try to stay active and healthy, which can feel extremely difficult as a millennial who grew up with YouTube, but to also strip away all of the anxiety and bullshit that comes along with trying to make sure that your partner and you both agree on the media you’re consuming.
You see, my partner and I are currently at a point where we both are interested in very different content, and to be honest, being someone who works from home the majority of the time and has also worked as someone who creates content like the material he’s watching… I get bored very easily.
Truly, there’s just so much bullshit content out there that can be easily consumed without fully watching it and it sucks that that’s the way content is, but what can you expect… there’s just a whole lot of content. So, in hopes of avoiding it, we’ve been taking long walks every day that it’s sunny and I can comfortably say that we’ve been loving it.
Each time we go out for a long walk, we’ve been finding new places to explore in our neighbourhood, and I’ve suggested that we go further and further each time, which we’ve been sticking to especially as of late.
Today we took our first walk to a “nature reserve” which really reminded me of my time spent in high school.
I remember taking long walks with one of my best friends in high school, in a reserve that was by her house. I remember being shocked that there were so many trees and even water by her house, although, let’s be frank… the water that was there was extremely shallow due to the amount of climate change and development taking place.
I remember the first year we visited the ravine by her house the water was a few feet high, and within years it became so shallow you could literally walk across without the fear of getting yourself wet.
It was sad to watch such a beautiful place turn “desolate” and quite frankly, I didn’t seem to care enough to find another place to explore because I saw the first-hand “horrors” of a place you love being dried up and compromised.
But today was different. Today I had told my partner about a reserve I saw on the map that didn’t seem too far out of the reach from our home.
I asked him if he would be interested in exploring with me and to my surprise he did.
You see, K is someone who likes sitting at the computer a lot. It’s not to say that K is lazy or anything, because he’s not. He’s just someone who likes to relax playing video games, which is an awesome way to spend time. The thing is, I’m not huge into video games. I enjoy them a lot, it’s just, as mentioned, I love walking the most in life. I like finding new places to explore and I especially love seeing a world that no one simulated (if that makes sense.)
It’s great to see perfection in video games, but it’s even better to see it up close and be shocked by the beauty that’s there and that’s what today was. Today was a day where we got to see nature for what it was and got to explore something that is so close to us that we’ve never visited before.
It even seemed like K enjoyed himself, although he will always complain about our first date (since I made him walk for too long) and will sometimes complain that I want to take him out for long boring walks while he could be doing something else. But I think we may have found our happy medium.
I’m excited summer is here, so we can do more walking. And hopefully, I can learn to recognize what will make K tolerate these long walks because it was really special and cute to watch him nerd out on how to tell the difference between the water you can walk in and water you want to stay away from.
It was cute to watch him get excited about charting paths that weren’t on “Pokémon GO” and even more adorable when you saw him get excited about where he’d want to live in the future (since we’re both fairly sure that the place we’re currently living in isn’t our “forever home”.)
I personally loved taking pictures today. While I will never go on record saying that I am a photographer or ever go on recover saying that “I want to be a photographer,” I do love the moments here and there where I get to capture the moments I think are beautiful. Today was beautiful and I’m glad I got to experience it.
Welcome back summer, I missed you. This winter was soul-crushing and hopefully, soon we’ll be able to experience life without it.
Melissa A Montana says
Great essay. Your writing is beautiful.
Thank you x