I am mostly known as a bicycle traveler, as I often travel with my bike, but I am also an avid long distance walker and here is why I love to travel by foot too.
I work in travel and tourism and often work as a tour leader on longer trips, where we are rushing from one place the other, so when I am not working, then I like to travel slow and this is why I love to travel by foot.
You see all the places and say hello to everyone.
One thing that is great about walking as a way of travel, is that you see everything you pass. You won’t suddenly miss a great view or an interesting quirky sight because you were looking away for a few seconds. When you walk, you go so slow that you get to see everything, both pretty and ugly and I like that. And you pretty much say hello to everyone that you walk past, unless you are a shy introvert. By actually talking to all the people you pass, you get the country a little better under your skin in my opinion and I often end up having nice conversations with locals that I talk to along the way, because by walking, I can not avoid talking at least a little to the locals and that makes for a better trip in my opinion.
You see the places in between the famous sights.
One thing is to see all the places that the guidebooks tell you about, but if you want to know what every day life in the country is like, then you need to visit some of the places in between the big sights and walking is just perfect for that matter. Having been traveling for over 2 decades, I am quite tired of the big famous places where you have a million tourists and I like the ordinary little places better. It’s not that I am tired of traveling in any way and I will keep traveling +300 days a year for many years to come, but I prefer the places in between the big tourist sights.
You get fit when you travel by foot.
One of the obvious advantages by traveling by foot is that you get fit from it. I have a job where I live in hotels and eat in restaurants almost every day and that makes me put on too much weight when I work, so I am very happy that I can get back in to shape and lose a bit of weight when I travel by foot.
You wind down mentally when you walk.
Walking long distance is one of the best stress killers you can find. I have a lot of stress in my work life and love to just walk walk walk down the road, while I am thinking about all the things I have to deal with, without having to be disturbed constantly by people who call me, phones that ring, or schedules that has to be kept. There are very few things in life that makes me relax better than when I take a good long walk. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said, “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness”. I couldn’t agree more.