Saturday, February 4, 2017

Take an Awe-Inspiring Walk

C. Coimbra photo
With the right outlook, awe can be found almost anywhere, but it is most likely to occur in places that involve two key features: physical vastness and novelty. These could include natural settings, like a trail lined with tall trees, or urban settings, like the top of a skyscraper. (For more ideas of where to take your walk, see the list lower down.)

However, the features of where you actually end up experiencing awe may vary. No matter where you choose to take your walk, these general guidelines should increase your opportunities to find awe-inspiring moments.

Turn off your cell phone. Cell phones (and other gadgets) can be distracting and draw your attention away from what’s happening around you. Even better, don’t bring your phone with you at all so that you won’t be tempted to check it.

Tap into your child-like sense of wonder. Young children are in an almost constant state of awe since everything is so new to them. During your walk, try to approach what you see with fresh eyes, imagining that you’re seeing it for the first time.

Go somewhere new. Each week (or month, or whatever frequency works for you), try to choose a new location. You’re more likely to feel awe in a novel environment where the sights and sounds are unexpected and unfamiliar to you. That said, some places never seem to get old, so there’s nothing wrong with revisiting your favorite spots if you find that they consistently fill you with awe. The key is to recognize new features of the same old place.

Here are some more specific ideas for where to take an awe-inspiring walk.

Natural settings:

  • A mountain with panoramic views
  • A trail lined with tall trees
  • The shore of an ocean, lake, river, or waterfall
  • A clear night when you can see the stars
  • A place where you can watch a sunset or sunrise 

Urban settings:

  • The top of a skyscraper… or look up in an area dense with tall buildings
  • A historic monument
  • A part of your city that you’ve never explored before
  • A large ballpark or stadium
  • A city art walk and explore different galleries
  • Botanical gardens or a zoo to see plants and animal species you’ve never seen before
  • Walk around with no destination in mind and see where it takes you

Indoor settings:

  • A planetarium or aquarium
  • A historic mansion, cathedral, or opera house
  • Walk slowly around a museum, giving your full attention to each piece


No comments:

Post a Comment