Take a walk, leave my phone

I like walking. I try walking a few kilometers every day. I walk alone. I walk with my partner. I walk my dog. When a project has me stumped I go on a walk. I park at the back of the lot and happily walk the extra distance to the store, something that annoys my aforementioned partner. They’re a spot-at-the-front parker, you see, and will enthusiastically if not aggressively worm through a parking lot for as long as it takes to get a prime spot close to the entrance, as though parking a car was a game with actual winners and losers. But as they say, opposites attract, and I suppose we’re a stronger couple for it, albeit physically weaker.

Anyway, I like walking. The best mode of walking is when I leave everything at home. Headphones, loved ones, but especially my phone, which is a miserable little distraction. I live in a relatively safe area, so I’m fortunate enough to be able to do so.

Leave my phone and go on a half hour walk. You might think, take your phone, just don’t look at it, idiot. And most of the time that’s what I do. But there’s something just a tad different about not having it at all. I feel as though my mind recognizes that it’s disconnected from the object and opens up a little more.

I can't be the only person this happens to. I’ll be on a walk and suddenly my eyes will somewhat glaze over as my focus is momentarily pulled into the digital realm, and I find myself thinking about a political blog I really should check in on, or remembering a video I saw on reddit, or of something I'd like to look up real quick, before snapping back to reality and noticing my hand is slowly reaching for the phone in my pocket and a quick hit of internet dopamine.

It happens less when I don’t have my phone. I don’t think about checking on anything, or responding to anyone, or taking pictures because, for the time being, I can’t. I feel more a part of the immediate world and less entangled with the entire world. I think more clearly. I feel the breeze a bit more, smell the air for a bit longer, notice the drifting clouds a bit better. I spend an extra moment being in the moment. A brief, wonderful state afforded to me by the simple act of not having that rectangle in my pocket for thirty minutes.

I like walking. Without a phone.