I am excited to announce an awesome campaign I will be doing over the next couple of weeks: Where I Walk.
I love to walk. I find freedom in the ability to move forward propelled by my own will, making a conscious decision to put one foot in front of the other. Walking isn’t a passive or protected action like driving in a car. It is an act that is instructed by the individual. It forces you to really experience the world around you.
Walking is apart of my genetics. My family, the Stewart clan, love to walk. It is the way in which we free our minds of the everyday spaces we live in. My Gran goes on a walks daily. She rarely misses the opportunity, despite being at the ripe age of 77 years old. I remember weekly walks in my childhood where we would venture the Greenbelt, Cecilia Forest and Groot Constantia. That’s what we did, we walked. When my Grandad was in the worst stages of his dementia, my Gran did not let down her daily walks with her husband. This was a way in which forgotten parts of his bare humanity were revealed. My Grandad would marvel at scenery and collect leaves and stones along the way. His pockets were well-known to have little bits of forests subtly hiding in his deep corduroy chambers.
My Dad is the king of the stride, he often goes for two walks a day. My Dad lived in London for the past eight years, and man, he knows that city like the back of his worn-out hands. He spent his first months in London simply walking the streets and understanding its visible heritage, its architecture and the tales of its life. My Dad even knows a ‘secret’ entrance into Westminister Abbey. When I lived with him for a short while, my Dad was able to give me a tour of London that was not touristy or archetypal but consisted of side roads, paths and maps he had created and loved. London is a beautiful and historic city that deserves the wanderlust of vagabonds who choose to seek more through their feet. With all these familial explanations, you must know how the love of walking runs through my veins (along with tea).
When I first arrived in Joburg, I was completely naive to the riches this city had to offer. All I knew was the existence Sandton City and the Zoo. That was all. Coming from Cape Town, I had many preconceptions that blinded my sight to see Joburg’s beauty and history. I honestly didn’t know that Joburg had a City–as in the old CBD. It was only when I made a decision to find out more and experience more, that the city of Gold completely captivated my heart. It was actually when Steve and I accidentally drove through the CBD late one night, read about it here. However, I would know nothing more of it, as the city is a place to be avoided. Which is why so many people don’t even know the riches and heritage of it. If you want a taste of the real city life, I did an inner-city walking tour, here.
We are never going to fully appreciate the City, or even see and acknowledge all of it, until we set our feet to the pavement and explore with an open heart conscious about the strides we take. Joburg is a misunderstood city, and I think it’s time we call the shots and see for ourselves, outside of the confinements of Malls and cars. In the next few weeks I will be doing a few walking tours, in which I hope to inspire and enlighten you to take the plunge too. There is no better way to walk then in a pair of Converse chucks, that are both comfy and trendy. Besides, shoes are clean and sneakers get dirty. Look out for Where I Walk posts. I hope you feel inspired to put some chucks on and hit the streets.