Urban Hiking: Exploration And Exercise In One

One of our favorite activities as a family traveling the world on a budget, is simply taking looong walks around the towns we’re staying in. It’s cheap, enjoyable and good for your body – the perfect combo! No specific route in mind, just strolling along, without looking at the clock, following paths that look appealing. It’s a great time for deep conversations too, somehow walking seems to encourage this 🙂

These walking tours are some of my most cherished moments. Even if I regularly annoy everyone a little bit with my constant  ‘wait a second, I have to take a picture of this’ (I know, I know, I’m sorry kids, but we have a blog to maintain, remember 😀 ) we generally have such a good time when out walking. Probably because it’s so much more than just walking: it’s really a way of getting that famous quality time we all know to be so essential. Even when you’re together 24/7 – time still needs to be set aside consciously, to nurture relationships and create space for connecting deliberately. So what do we do then, walking around for hours? Well…

*We talk about little things and big things, often induced by what we see around us of course – but also all kinds of topics that just come out of the blue air. This is also a huge part of our homeschooling actually, the countless hours spent in conversation about everything from food or music to politics, history or religion. This is where a lot of the learning comes in, through casual, ongoing dialogue.

*We stop at places that look interesting, peek into shops along the way or stop and observe workers in the street, construction sites or something else that catches our interest. We also look at bugs, flowers, chase butterflies or pause to cuddle a cat in the street.

*We eat. Yeah, this is one huge, essential part of the ‘walking fun’ 😀 – to always, always have a picnic (or two, or three…) along the way! Sometimes we will have brought food from home, sometimes we’ll buy some on the way. In Thailand, it was mostly from one of the hundreds of little food stalls that are virtually on every corner of the streets – because the food there is just de.li.ci.ous (and I’ll have to write a post of it’s own about that later!).

AND….OF COURSE, NOT TO FORGET:

*We train! Always and everywhere. Along the way, there will inevitably be parks and playgrounds, walls to climb, benches to jump over or rails to balance on. We spend a LOT of time practicing different stuff while on our walks. Could be parkour moves like monkey vaults or lazy or more gymnastic stuff like handstands and flips or simply basic strength training such as push-ups or pistol squats.


Totally random, we came across an awesome little spot when walking from parisian suburb Vincennes and into town one day. An hour of impromptu parkour training just there 🙂

I have baptised this kind of aimlessly (in a very positive sense) walking around: urban hiking. Because it’s just like that. Often we set out for a half day or more of walking the streets of wherever we are, and often we stay out longer than we thought we would, simply because there is so much to see and do along the way. So being in a city is a great opportunity for ‘fitness on the road’ – very literally 😉                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Luna

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