The aimless walker

There have been fleeting moments over the past six months when I have wanted to travel and I have wanted to write. But neither have been possible. And with good reason. 

I am the father to a six month old boy. In the hours when I have not been hacking out articles quickly in a bid to cover bills, all I have wanted to do is spend time with him and my partner, marvelling at new skills learned. A roll onto the tummy here. A foot in a mouth there. A giggle while getting ready for bed. I have found joy and overwhelming happiness in what many looking from the outside in would perhaps consider mundane.

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Yet now, the urge to travel, the urge to write are returning. So much so that it has become hard to ignore. I have indulged in brief swims off the beach opposite my Brighton home, but I need more. I want and need to recreate the energy which coursed through me when I retraced Roger Deakin’s Waterlog and faced down anxiety when researching Floating. It is why I am setting out on this journey, albeit one which has no destination, merely a short set of rules.

I am going to walk. And I am going to walk without purpose. Once a week in 2018 I will set out, perhaps along the coast, maybe down streets I have never explored, in towns or cities I both know and do not know. I am curious to see what I find, both in the wider world and within myself.

I am not a good ambler. Wherever I am, my anxiety means I need proximity to an escape. A Tube station. A bus stop. The knowledge of a defined route home. 

So this, I hope, will be a letting go. An opportunity to get lost physically, but mentally as well. To allow my mind to wander from the path which it tries to set out. A breaking down of barriers. A fresh way of seeing the world. A way of remembering why I wanted to write, interrogate and be curious in the first place.

Each week I will write a post about the walk I have done, who and what I have encountered, the thoughts and memories which have streaked across my conscience as one foot follows the other. I do not know where I am going. And I do not wish to.