Colorful shoes with clean edges of the frame.

To me, there is no better joy in life than walking.


ERIC KIM YouTube: Why I Love Walking

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Why walk?

Bank walk

“All great thoughts are achieved while walking.” – Nietzsche

This is my theory: the more we walk, the happier we are.

Why?

First question we must ask ourselves: why do humans have brains?

Cindy walking at night

Based on my studies, organisms that have brains need to move. Organisms that have brains need to move in order to procure food (whether hunting or gathering). For example, the “sea squirt” is an animal that is born with a brain, looks for a suitable place with nutrients, then when it finds a good spot, settles into the ground, roots itself, eats its own brain, then can stay settled in that spot. Once the organism no longer needs to move, it no longer needs a brain.

Cindy walking Osaka night

I think humans are the same. We have evolved to have brains in order to move: to hunt, or to gather.

Also, as humans, we are bipeds—we have evolved to walk on two legs because it is advantageous to walk longer distances when standing on two legs (instead of on all four limbs). Organisms that walk on four limbs can sprint faster than us, but can’t walk long distances as efficiently as we bipeds can.

Woman cleaning shadows

Therefore, it is within our human physiology to walk long distances, preferably everyday.

If we don’t walk, why do we need brains?

Kid in front of Nike store. Osaka, 2018
Kid in front of Nike store. Osaka, 2018

This is my theory: a lot of modern mental/health/physical issues occur simply because we don’t move/walk enough!

Shadow selfie

If the human no longer walks (or needs to walk), why do we even need brains anymore? Or if we don’t need to stand and walk anymore, why even have legs? (Most modern humans simply sit all day, either at a desk, on the couch, or in the car).


I’m the smartest while walking

Selfie yellow box Osaka

I always have the best thoughts, ideas, and conversations while walking. The more I walk and move, the more efficiently my brain runs. There is no better start to the day than a simple 30 minute walk around the block to get my brain running. And of course, having a nice cup of coffee in the morning is a good stimulus to get me out of the apartment and moving.

Osaka layers urban landscape

One of the things I’ve loved the most living abroad in Japan is simply being able to walk and move around more. When I’m in the states, I’m either trapped in my suburban home block (there are no sidewalks to walk on). Or the only walking I can get done is at the mall, or the local IKEA.

Legs walking Osaka

Cindy also made the keen observation yesterday, “How can one enjoy street photography if one doesn’t like to walk?” She gave me an important realization:

Street photography is good because it encourages us and allows us to walk more.

Shoes selfie

The more we walk, the happier we are. The more we walk, the more photos we shoot. The more photos we shoot, the more likely we are to get a photo we like. And the more photos we make which we like, the happier we will be as human beings and artists.


Suggestions on walking

Man with curtain street photograph

Practical ideas:

  1. Ultralight: To walk and move more, cut down your weight and friction. This means, shoot with (and buy) ultralight cameras to walk more and shoot more (like RICOH GR II or your phone). Use backpacks with ultralight laptops, tablets, phones, or devices which don’t restrict your movement. Read more: NEVER STOP MOVING!
  2. When you’re feeling exhausted or burnt out, go for a walk: Take a walk around your block, whether your home or office. Also on your days off, don’t stay inside your home or apartment. Go on adventures! Travel to the neighboring town, take public transit or just walk around in a new area.
  3. If you have an option, live in a city or town which is walkable: For myself, I would spend more money on rent to live in a neighborhood that was good for walking, instead of living in the suburbs (if I were given an option). Also realize that to be happier in life, don’t dream of owning your own house or home — rather, save your money and opt for a lifestyle that simply allows you to walk more!

Walking will solve (many) of your life problems/stresses

Pink dot shoes walking

My conclusion is simple:

To be happier, walk more!

Never stop moving,
ERIC


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