Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Everyone has a different idea of the perfect vacation. Some people like to sit and people watch, some people like visit a spa, some people like to hike or mountain bike, some people like to go to casinos, some people like to visit museums – the important thing is to get pulled out of your usual routine and experience something new or something you have wanted to do. The library offers many travel guides to plan any trip and memoirs to satisfy any armchair traveler.

After many years of traveling – in the U.S. and in other countries – I finally have figured out what I need in a vacation – I like to walk. Yep. That’s right. Walk. I like to walk on the beach, I like to walk in the mountains, I like to walk in National Parks, but I especially like to walk in cities. I love looking at the architecture. I love looking at the gardens. Walking gives you time to absorb, to become familiar with an area. Visits to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks were planned around day hikes.

On a visit to Scotland I set up home base in Glasgow and walked to restaurants, shopping, and museums. In San Francisco I just roamed the streets while enjoying the vistas, parks, and squares this hilly city has to offer. I’ve walked in New York, Chicago, Seattle, London, Edinburgh, New Orleans, Boston, and Portland, Oregon, just to name a few. I admit I have never walked the Appalachian Trail, so hilariously described in Bill Bryson’s A walk in the woods. That’s not my kind of walking, though it may be yours.

If vacations sound expensive, well, they can be. Just the cost of getting there can be prohibitive for many people. You can read about exotic locales. But if you are lucky enough, you can live somewhere like – well, Santa Fe. Spas? Got ‘em. Hiking, biking? Fishing? That too. National Parks and Monuments? Not far off. Museums, restaurants? Oh, yeah. Casinos? Yep. People watching? Definitely. Music? Certainly. And you can walk. So take a week and plan out some activities that you always wanted to do. Then vacation in Santa Fe.


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