I wrote this blog post from California, where I spent a week on vacation visiting family and friends – most of whom have relocated here from back East. It always interesting to travel and see the differences in cultures and lifestyles, and given the vast expanse and diversity of the United States, we don’t even have to travel abroad to experience this.
One of my favorite things to do when I first arrive somewhere is to go for a walk or jog, and sightsee along the way. Especially if I have been on long flight, a walk outdoors seems to reset my body and psyche. As a New Yorker, I am accustomed to walking a lot during the day, and almost daily leave extra time in my commuting schedule in order to walk through the park as part of my commute before hopping on the subway. We New Yorkers probably don’t even realize how much extra walking and subway stair climbing we do as we make our daily commute and errands around town. Many health and fitness coaches recommend using a pedometer or smart watch to record steps taken each day, and it would be an interesting study to compare averages between urban dwellers and those living in the country or suburbs. (Maybe someone has already done this….).
In LA, it is definitely a car culture as everything is very spread out. Yet, given that the weather is so conducive to being outside many people hike the canyons on a daily basis – even if they have to drive back and forth to do so! Last time I was here, I enjoyed hiking Runyon Canyon very much, and we enjoyed that hike again. It is so important for urban dwellers, whether we are on the East or West Coast, to find those pockets of nature on a regular basis. One never knows what interesting sights will be experienced, and each outdoor walk or run is always very different from the last – especially if we stay focused in the present moment, as our yogic and spiritual practices teach us.
Saying hi, mid-run, to an amazing tree in Beverly Hills Park.