Get Outside Into The Real World – Walk, Look, Listen

Do you want to improve your mood? Then get outside. Take a walk. Look around. Listen. Experience the real world. The physical one…

Too many have their heads in their screens these days, for too long. The electronic world. Virtual reality.

The suggestion might be controversial, even shocking…but it might do some good to get out and experience the physical world around you. And I’m not talking about just getting in your vehicle and going for a drive (although that can be fun too).

You will see and experience LOTS more of what’s around you when you walk. Be it through your neighborhood (or anywhere). This may sound fairly obvious, but how many actually take the time to discover what’s really out there?

If you walk outside, it’s like a completely different world.

Here’s what I mean…

When you drive in your vehicle, you are surrounded by a barrier. It isolates you from the environment as you drive through. Sure you can see through the windows. But you miss the true identity of the place and most of the details as you drive.

You’ve got to slow down and get outside. Walk. Then you’ll take it all in…the environment.

I try to walk more these days so I already know this to be true. However I wanted to point out the obvious because it’s literally possible to just stay inside all the time in our modern world. That is less-than-healthy. However if you force yourself to get outside, it will very likely improve your mood, and your health.

Here’s an example:

I took my truck to the local Ford dealer for service. I knew the process would take several hours. Instead of sitting in the waiting room on my butt the entire time, I went for a walk for about an hour.

I’ve driven the streets through that part of town and have explored the neighborhoods there. But what a difference while walking instead. The ‘feel’ of the place is often quite different from what you might have experienced while driving through.

When you’re walking, you’re out in the open. You’re in the physical environment. You are hearing all of the nuances around you, the sounds. Since you’re walking, it’s slow enough to actually see and experience everything compared to driving. You notice the details.

I walked through the small ‘downtown’ and then ventured off into a few neighborhoods and down a few country lanes. The ‘flavor’ of the various places felt different from the times I’ve driven through.

I noticed a shop or two which I hadn’t realized were there before. I got a feeling for the neighborhoods by seeing the details of the houses, the yards, things kept around their homes – the clues which revealed somewhat about who was living there.

Then I stopped by a river while passing over an old bridge. I saw someone fly-fishing upstream and stood there for a while and took it all in. Listening to the river, the breeze through the trees (it was a nice day).

I continued on and passed another ‘walker’ coming the opposite direction. Ironically we passed again as we each looped around a few streets – smiled and waved as though in our own world, separate from those in their cars…

I took in an amazing amount of information about that little area which I would otherwise had no idea whatsoever.

Try it sometime… Take a walk

Try it some time. Around your home neighborhood or during your lunch break at work. Take a walk. You’ve driven those roads a million times. When you walk, it will seem quite different. You will see and notice things that you had no idea about before. The place will ‘feel’ different (unless you’ve already done this before).

If your locale isn’t right for a nice walk, well, go somewhere that is!

It seems to me that today’s modern world has most of us ‘inside’, or inside of something. Your house. Your car. The workplace. The store. All the ‘places’. All except outdoors. Not too many people walk around much.

We as humans are generally most always ‘indoors’ or inside somewhere.

Is it time to get outside?

[ Read: How To Lone One Pound A Week ]

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26 Comments

  1. Great suggestion Ken. It’s healthy for you, a chance to perhaps chat with someone, enjoy some fresh mask free air and it is a wonderful way to gather information about your area and the people in it .

  2. The true identity of a place has a temperature, a humidity and a odor or possibly a fragrance. The motion of the air. The creation of the creator adds to the flavor and color. Walking is always good while you still can. It’s good to try seeing as far as you can into the forest. Thanks for a positive thought.

    1. Sometimes it’s called “eco-therapy”.

      or “Go outside and play”, as mom used to say.

      1. My souse’s mom used to say “Go outside and get some stink off you”. That is what kids were told when it was time for them to play outside.

    2. NRP,
      at least he didn’t tell ya to take a long walk….. on a short pier!!
      Peace,
      MadFab

  3. My childhood was spent divided between a small town where less than half the streets were paved, and on a farm. I knew every street, cubbyhole, business, and vacant lot in that town, who to trust, who to avoid. Same on the farm. What land belonged to who. Those who didn’t mind a young kid walking through, those that did.

    Had a cousin who lived in a blue collar neighborhood in Dallas. When I visited him, he showed me a whole new world of paved, curbed and guttered streets….and storm sewers. He knew every nook, cranny, and route those sewers took…..my aunt would give us a dime for candy, he would lead me on a subterranean adventure with us popping up through a gutter on the street right in front of the store a mile and multiple tunnel intersections later…..with my aunt never worried a bit about our safety.

    1. Nowadays that same age generation only knows every inch within the virtual walls of the video games they play.

      1. when i was young my friends and i would stay gone from the house all day long playing, riding our bikes and getting into mistrif. it was great
        i have friends down the road from me who have two boys. they stayed outside wearing the tires off of their bicycles until mom and dad got them some cell phones. i have not seen them outside since
        good kids but they stay inside and play games and chat all day now

  4. I found it refreshing taking the dogs out and having coffee on the deck in the early morning sunrise. Birds are singing, animals are moving in the leaves, life is coming back to the forest and it is time to become one with nature again, except the blood sucking insects that are coming out soon.

  5. We walk our dog down our country roads each morning at sunrise and praise God for all of His Blessings. As you said Mr. Ken, sure does life your spirits.

  6. To add a thought, every couple of hikes, take your get home bag with ‘ya! You might reconsider if everything in there is absolutely necessary. Don’t ask why I suggest that…

  7. DW and I are not in good condition for walking, but we finally got the golf cart fixed. Yes it is good to be outside. The golf cart lets you feel your surroundings much better than in the truck. We can fit down alleys and side walks where the truck wont go. We also get to greet other people that are outside. I am always out and about but DW is not out that much. The golf cart makes that much easier for her and helps get her out of depression.

  8. DW retires end of next week, we live on a dead end road, already planning walksmevery day. Immspend the decent weather days outdoors, garden, mowing, wood cutting, coffee chugging. The crows and squirrels are getting comfortable when I’m out. Not so much fishers, fox and deer. Will have to carry walking, coyote and fishers. Ifmi can’t be out and about feels like I’m wasting a day. Grew up in small milk farm country, road the bike in the he middle of the road, no traffic in the daytime, folks were at work or home, with one car, kind of a zoo on the roads now. Summer days seemed endless.

  9. Speaking of outside, I saw our first black bear of the spring season today – while outside checking on the chickens. Uh-oh…

  10. When out walking take your better half if you have one or a dog on the walk. People walking by themselves up and down streets tend to draw attention. It tends to look out of place verse a couple walking or someone walking a dog, remember be a gray man!!

  11. As the weather warms up more, I am spending more and more time outside. Versus a couple months ago virtually hibernating inside away from the frozen outside. As a result, I fiddle-fart around outside more and check off things on the to-do list.

  12. What a wonderful story and how true!!! I can no longer walk due to a work related injury BUT I can and do ride in my power chair. We live in a beautiful wonderland of forest wood lands with a few other homes. With hardly any traffic and abundance of wildlife (actually the wildlife shares their home with us). Take a walk with your spouse, kids, grandchildren and your doggies of course and I guarantee that you will feel so much happier and feel so much alive that you will want to do again and again….DO IT TODAY AND SMELL THE ROSES AGAIN!!!!

    1. Good for you! So many people in your situation might choose to just stay inside all the time. That fresh air is invigorating. (Unless it’s 20 below or something!)

      Similarly, I live among the wildlife, surrounded by forest, nestled among hills and mountains. One of my favorite times for simply being out is Spring – watching and listening to everything “coming alive” once again.

  13. jon dowe,
    Good thought on wearing your “bag.” It won’t take long to understand why lighter is important. Walking in the country is good stuff. I’ve located easily accessible tp. Lamb’s ear grows in this area. My grandson calls it “nature’s tp.” Yes, he had an occasion to use some on a walk, several years ago. He still remembers.

  14. Went for a walk yesterday. Was great. Did a little foraging (well tried haha), walked the dogs, and enjoyed nature. Felt refreshed and just overall great afterwards. Does the body and mind good.

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