What do six Buddhist monks and a Bichon Frise have in common?
I’ll tell you in a minute. But first, a bit of background.
About six months ago, I decided to make a personal statement about my health, the environment and fuel usage, so I parked our SUV in the garage and began walking to work. The 40 minutes each way offers me an unmatched opportunity to clear my head and to see things along the way I’d otherwise miss.
The other night as I wound through La Jolla’s village, I passed one of our well-known restaurants, Rappongi. Sitting along the outdoor tables, I passed three doctors in scrubs, followed by a table of men and women enjoying an after-work drink. (Nothing unique with either sighting.) The next table was unusual, even for La Jolla. Relaxing at a booth, in long robes with shaved heads, were six Buddhist monks. They were smiling and chatting; having a great time.
The very next morning, I walked past a burly man in his Mercedes SUV. In a car seat next to him was his white Bichon Frise, wearing a pink sweater vest. (Not entirely unique for La Jolla.)
Why the story?
During these months of walking I’ve been reminded of those experiences that resonate for me on our Cultural Walking Adventures, Culinary Tours and Family Journeys. Namely, the simple things you enjoy when you slow down to see the world and explore the world one step at a time.
Sometimes, my sighting are not funny or memorable, just sensory for the moment: smelling the fresh-brewed coffee from Pannikin Coffee Shop, just like we do when we’re waking on our own junk in Vietnam’s Halong Bay or at the otherworldly Berber tented encampment on our Morocco trip.
Other times when I walk along our famed cove, I see seals with their pups and whales migrating south to Mexico, in the same way that we enjoy watching the humpback whales in Nova Scotia or the Fiordland crested penguins with their young in New Zealand.
Then there are the days that I see ladies carrying armfuls of flowers from the market, in a ritual consistent across places as disparate as Delhi’s flower market in India and San Gimignano’s weekly market on our Tuscany & Cinque Terre trip.
If you’ve had an occasion where slowing down has allowed you to see the world better, one step at a time, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.