Today it occurred to me how much my lifestyle has changed without access to a car.
I walk everywhere, and if I need to carry something, I do that too.
Like purchasing and then having to walk a quilt from Willis St to Thorndon, a distance of about 3km; or deciding I cannot live another moment staring at the artistically rendered and framed drawing of a club? pencil? wooden spoon? hung on the wall at the end of my bed, and so marching across Wellington to the art store (thinking about 2/3 of the way there that this was a long way) to purchase something more” me”, and then realising I have to also walk this back across the city and home.
I have become strategic with my grocery shopping; dividing up my grocery list so all the heavy stuff is spaced out across several visits instead of getting it all at the same time, and splitting my shopping into equally weighted bags so I don’t become unbalanced on my walk home –which would be especially bad if I lived at the top of a hill.
I spent Easter in Hamilton, flying up there from Wellington, as evidenced by the creepy Gollum sculpture who lurks above dining travellers in the main concourse area in Wellington Airport (see title image).
On my arrival back into Wellington I walked my carry on bag, laptop and handbag out of the airport (feeling self-righteous as I passed 2 taxi ranks), down a residential street, through the subway which traverses under the actual airport runway, and up the other side and down another couple of streets to go to Briscoes for house stuff. I thought I was quite novel, managing to walk from the airport to where I wanted to go, but then I spoke to a friend who wheels her suitcase from her house to the airport at 4.30am when catching the early flight to Melbourne. There is always someone who tries to outdo you!
I think I saved myself $20 in a taxi fare, however that amount plus more was definitely re-purposed in buying things for the house so I am not eating out of bowls which could be mistaken for cups or cups that could be used in dolls picnics.
I did however get a taxi home after this excursion – given walking 2 lamps, a dinner set, a sheet set, various kitchen utensils, a couple of knives, my laptop, carry on bag and handbag would have been a big ask from Lyall Bay to Thorndon. I think this trip for me would be in the realm of 2 days, and I can guarantee I would be jettisoning stuff along the way like some modern-day Gretel given a credit card, and to fits of temper.
(Side note, I was speaking to a colleague at work, who mentioned she had gone for a run on Sunday –she went on to say it was from Johnsonville into the airport, through that exact tunnel and back out to her house – a distance of over 30km! So that deflated my whole walk through a tunnel moment. Obviously my standards are way too low, having been shown up by 2 people in the course of a day.)
Anyway, back to walking, I have become a lot more practical knowing that I need to get somewhere at a certain time, figuring out when to leave and the best way to get there; and the weather is no longer an abstract concept, given that I will probably being spending longer in it than I was when I drove a car.
Hamilton has a river trail which runs either side of the Waikato River, from Te Rapa to Hamilton East, a total distance of 11km. While I was up there at Easter I went for a couple of walks, it was so nice to get this type of scenery so close to town! The trail was also really busy with families biking, couples walking and joggers puffing along, however you could still hear the native birds so you got a feeling of wilderness even though the entire path is paved, and has flat areas and park benches where people can sit and watch the river in the sunshine.