walk this way

livinglagom.com - walk this way

You may have noticed from my monthly budget updates that I don’t spend very much money on transportation. In fact, I haven’t spent over $10 in any given month (excluding my Toronto day trips).

How is that possible? Two reasons:

  1. I walk. A lot.
  2. I run errands with my sister when I stay over at her place on weekends. But with the exception of going to the farmers market, I’m kind of just tagging along. I could accomplish most of those errands on foot. If I didn’t get rides with my sister, I’d probably have to spend another $10 per month. This is in a city where a lot people believe you need a car to get around.

The key? Live close to amenities.

determine your walk score

Whenever I move to a new place, I try to make sure that I’m in easy walking distance of a grocery store, a library and a coffee shop. I also need to be within a 10 minute walk of a bus or subway route for those times when I do use public transportation. If there’s a movie theatre and a park nearby, I consider those bonuses.

While I prefer to be close to a main road where there’s some action going on, I don’t like to be that close. It’s too tempting to pop out and buy my dinner every night.

There’s actually a website where you can calculate the walk score of where you live.

The dorm where I’m living now has a walk score of 92 out of 100. In the fall, if I move in with my sister again, I’ll have a walk score of 55. Eek. But that’s alright – I’ll just use the extra distance to amenities as training for the below.

my longest walk yet

By this time next year, I plan to have walked the Camino de Santiago.

I’ve mentioned the Camino a couple of times on this blog. I feel compelled to walk it.

This happens to me every now and again. I felt compelled to live in London, England. It took me 7 years to actually do it. I feel compelled to write my novella. It’s taken me 5 years to really get started. I’ve only been thinking about the Camino for about 2 years. I’m making progress!

I know I have it in me to walk for many hours daily for 30 to 35 days. It’ll be challenging, but I can do it. My biggest weakness is that I don’t really have a lot of upper body strength. I’ll have to travel very, very lightly. But I guess minimalism has been great practice for that. And then there are the wild dogs, the roadside “washrooms” and the loud snorers in the albergues – but I won’t worry about those things for now.

So if you just happen to be walking the Camino next May, let me know. We can meet up along The Way.

16 thoughts on “walk this way

  1. AngelJem

    I wish I could come with you. Doing the camino has been a dream of mine for a couple of years. I need to save enough money and find a straight few weeks when I can do it….
    Will you be able to blog or shall we read about it afterwards? I can at least live vicariously through you then!

  2. A

    I am a huge fan of walking, in all types of weather. It saves money, sure, but I think we’re meant to take in the world at a walking pace, not at the speed of a vehicle.

    Also,I do the same thing when moving – how far of a walk is it to the necessary amenities like the library and a grocery store? There is some statistic that notes that many car trips are for distances less than a mile. Why not just walk? :-)

  3. living lagom Post author

    I find with things we really want to do, as long as we keep believing we’ll do it, we will.

    I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to post while I’m away, but I’ll definitely blog about it in some way!

  4. living lagom Post author

    I forgot to mention that I walk because I actually PREFER walking to all other forms of transportation. So yes, not just to save money!

  5. rebekkastarfish

    Sadly it’s pretty far to my university, so I take public transportation (yay for half-year student tickets!) I tried going there by bike one day when I lived halfway and failed miserably. It takes about two hours from here, I was told. Luckily I can walk to the train station. And I walk to most shops, or I ride my bike if I need to be faster – or don’t feel like walking the way of half an hour to church. I love going for a walk around the small lake in the park nearby – perfect route to spend a little less than one hour of free time, and one of the doctors I frequent has his office close to the park as well (while the other doctors I need to see sometimes have theirs’ close to the campus, so I can walk there before or after class.)

  6. Evans

    Funny, my daughter and I plan on walking the Camino next May too. The Camino has been calling me for several years now and I’m going to walk to honor my 50th birthday. I’m going to start harder training this summer. I was just in Sweden last week and was at one of the main Swedish pilgrimage sights in Vadstena. There was a small store dedicated to the Camino. Please share any training tips.

  7. living lagom Post author

    Interesting! Perhaps our timing will coincide! My training plan at this point is to just keep walking as much as possible. About a month before I depart, I will start carrying a backpack with me wherever I go and also break-in whatever shoes I’ll be wearing. I’ll also take longer walks at that time. It’ll be a little tricky because we might still have snow on the ground here in April and I’m hoping that there won’t be any on the Camino in mid-May when I start walking.

  8. rebekkastarfish

    I hope so!
    In case you’re interested, I just started a series called “Favourite Friday” on my blog, which is about favourite simple things we can enjoy in this worlds (words, colours, books, places, …), and I’d love to hear what other simplyfiers/minimalists/lagomists have to say about that, and I’m also open for ideas for new “favourite” categories, maybe “way of transportation” could be one :)

  9. Heather A.

    It has been a dream of mine to walk the Camino as well. I first heard about it 5 or so years ago and it really spoke to me! Hopefully I will do it – maybe for my 50th bday – two years away!!! : )
    The walk score for our address is 18 : ( Not too good!!! I think I will keep the car for now : )

  10. Jean

    That walkscore is a laugh for my area. It came as a ZERO despite noting that grocery, dentist, parks, hardware stores, etc. are within a mile. (The library is a little over 2 miles away.) I suspect it’s because we have limited public transit and major retailers are located in nearby cities.

    I live about a 20-minute walk from work, but admit that I often take the car in inclement weather or when the danger of animal-encounter is high. (BTW did you know that there are coyotes in Toronto?) Many of the locals bike until the snow or ice becomes unnavigable, but I can’t see lugging workclothes back and forth in addition to what’s regularly in my backpack.

    I considered El Camino de Santiago but it will always conflict with my work schedule. I hope that you get a lot out of it.

  11. living lagom Post author

    Coyotes in Toronto?! This is information that is not good for someone like me to learn. Luckily, I never encountered any in the decade that I lived there. Of course, I mainly walked in populated areas.

    As for the walk score, I’ve found it to be pretty spot on with the multiple addresses I entered into it…but I guess, as with all things, nothing is perfect.

    I’ve heard some negative things about the Camino, but I’m still eager to test it out for myself.

  12. Jean

    A Detroiter friend and I saw a coyote not far from High Park, nosing around the rubbish bins. It was early on a Sunday morning. She doesn’t even like dogs, so I didn’t tell her what it was until later. She spotted one the following year in her own neighbourhood. Coyotes, opossums and raccoons seem to have taken quite a liking to urban areas!

    The walkscore seems less accurate for rural areas because of certain criteria: dense population, buildings built close to the street, and mixed-income/mixed-use. It’s like the “live-ability” calculators for cities.

    The ironic thing is that one of the reasons for my area’s low score is that it favours “complete streets” as opposed to cul-de-sacs. However, most of our public streets (including mine) end on unpaved walking paths. It’s a clever way to give pedestrians access to the state park and the bird sanctuary without allowing motorized vehicles to tear them up. There’s also several islands that have public roads that are obviously “dead-ends.”

  13. living lagom Post author

    I’ve seen my fair share of raccoons. I once had to do a double-take when I saw one hugging a tree. I thought it was a koala…but that was just wrong.

    I guess we all have to pick which amenities are the most important to us when deciding where to reside, as well as whether or not we actually want to walk to those amenities.

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