In the classic Pixar movie, Wall-e, futuristic humans are depicted as overweight, driving around in motorized vehicles instead of walking, drinking slurpees and constantly plugged into technology. The image would be hilarious if it wasn’t so frighteningly accurate.
Whether it is people waiting for five minutes to take an elevator up one flight or families watching their separate iPads around the dinner table, technology can make life easier without making it better. But, as someone who created an app, I am a huge proponent of the potential of technology. Used correctly, it can give us richer experiences. But I am also still a firm believer in a little human effort.
That is why my wife and I created City Walker in a very specific way. For anyone new to City Walker it is a travel app that gives you local recommendations for places to eat, drink or catch entertainment. When you go to a new city it can be overwhelming to know where to go, which is why people often fall back on chains.
We could have shown recommendations throughout an entire city. But that would have encouraged people to hop in a car and go. I believe that the best way to see and discover a new place is by walking. That is why all of our recommendations are within 15 minutes walk from your current location.
Here are three reasons walking is the best way to explore a new city:
- Experience is multisensory. To truly know a place you need to experience its sights, sounds, smells and feel. The best way to do this is not from a hotel or a car but to be out on the street. It is the nuances and subtleties that make each place different. Walking around and stumbling upon these is the best part of traveling.
- When you are in a new location chances are you’re going to eat out. Eating out can be delicious but it can also be high in calories. Walking allows you to enjoy yourself at the dining table while knowing you can burn off some of those extra pounds. It makes any trip feel guilt free. Not to mention all of the additional health benefits you get from walking like strengthening your heart and lowering your risk for disease.
- Really, though, walking will prevent the Wall-e dystopia from becoming reality and that is the most important thing of all. We must fight against these Pixar visions becoming reality or else rats may be cooking our dinners in French restaurants or our toys may be plotting a coup. So for all of our sakes, please walk!