The One-Hour Walk Adventure

The One-Hour Walk Adventure

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“What are we going to do today?” “I’m bored!” “But I read that book yesterday!” Uh oh, sounds like it’s time for another Mom-style adventure.  The fact that Spring Break is just around the corner here in Canada, brings back memories when my kids were still in elementary school.  We lived downtown, literally a 30min walk from the lake in our community.  When my kids were ages 4 and 7, I discovered that my youngest could walk that far, so we would sometimes hang out at the beach.  As little legs got longer though, and with gas prices what they were, the time came when we would venture farther afield on foot.

On this particular day, we had to take the car in for servicing, but had quite a bit of running around to do while we waited.  There was a stop at the local liquidation store that I no longer remember the name of.  We had to stop by London Drugs, the Christian bookstore to spend a gift card, and the grocery store as well.  We took the car in, made sure we had everything we needed, and set out on foot.  All those stops were possible in roughly 1.5hrs walking a round-trip series of sidewalks and parking lots.  My son couldn’t help himself at one point, blurting out, “Mom, it feels as if time is moving slowly and the ground is flying by!”  A take on the adage that time is flying while the world stands still.

After that discovery, we made another discovery months later.  The liquidation store was literally a one hour walk from home, with Superstore just 15 minutes further.  A new way to do our grocery shopping suddenly opened up and we obtained two grocery carts.  One came from Grandma, and another from a bargain store nearby.  If we had only half a grocery list to buy, we could fit it into both carts without spending anything on gas.  An hour’s walk there and back saved us an amazing amount of gas money in the years that would follow.  A similar store much closer to us would see the same treatment but not as often as it’s prices were a bit higher.

We discovered that it was roughly 45-50min to walk to church on Sundays, which really came in handy one year when a marathon blocked off all roads out of our neighbourhood one morning!  We simply left an hour early and took off on foot.  We rescued several earthworms and a puppy that morning and STILL made it to church on time!  The only collateral damage was the front of my pink overcoat that was now stained with mud.  The owner of the dog was so glad to get it back.

[bctt tweet=”This Spring Break, why not take your kids out for a one-hour adventure? ” username=”songdovemd”] Check out Google maps for various things around your town and the roads and where they go, then plan a walking trip in one particular direction.  Pack some snacks and perhaps lunch if you are doing this in the morning.  If none of you have ever walked this far in one go before, you’ll need the rest period before turning around to walk home.  Take note of the businesses, parks, stores, roads, etc, that you pass along the way.  Walking is a more intimate way to experience your town and lets you discover things you drive past every day.  Perhaps a few days later in the week, pick another direction and walk for an hour, see where you end up and what you passed along the way.  Pretend you’re going on walking tours as tourists in your own town.

Kasugai Gardens Kelowna BC
Pic of several Koi at a local park dedicated to our city’s Japanese Sister City. My kids were roughly 11 and 9 when this pic was taken.

My kids now think nothing of long walks to go anywhere.  Sure, there may be sore feet and possibly even blisters if walking isn’t normally a thing for your household, but those blisters give way to budding callouses.  The thicker your callouses, the farther you can walk.  I call this toughening up.  I don’t get out much in the winter anymore, so when spring comes and I start going for those long walks again, I have to toughen up my feet.  Don’t get pedicures during spring, summer or fall, because you need your callouses to explore, do business, and save money while doing so.

The other advantage to walking in addition to saving money, is the quality time you spend with your kids.  Talk about what you pass, teach them about passing on the right, the necessary safety in holding hands so strangers can’t swipe them away in broad daylight.  Teach them intersection and crosswalk protocols, how to look both ways before crossing an unmarked crosswalk, etc.  Sharing time outside stretching your legs gives all of you a low-impact workout, a change of air, a change of scenery from looking at homework every day and the four walls of bedrooms and living rooms, and lets you socialize without an emergency trying to get your attention.

Speaking of getting your attention, keep your cellphone in your purse and ignore it while you are out with your kids.  Unless you are snapping pics of them climbing a plaything in the park, keep your phone out of site in a secure place.  In today’s technologically-driven world, show your kids they are worthy of your full attention on these adventures.  They will remember them.  They will remember the lessons they learned on these adventures, and they will talk about them in the years to come.

Discovery, no gas money needed, exercise, family social time, what’s not to like about a Spring Break Adventure like this?

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