As we prepared to set off on our walk yesterday morning, I found my thoughts focused on refugees, many of whom cross vast expanses of land by foot as they seek lives that look a little bit more like the ones we should all be able to live.

I think about the packs on our backs and what they contain. And I think about the bags many refugees carry along with them and what they must hold - and everything they don't. I think about why.

Walking for pleasure is important for health and communities, but it's not the purpose of walking in many people's lives. For many, walking is a means to get to work, or a means to travel toward water, or a means to escape from conflict.

As we set off on our walk, we know that being able to take the time to travel slowly - and intentionally so - reflects our privilege, as does the expectation that we can travel across two countries relatively safely. We intend to write about these disparities on our walk, to bring attention to the many ways in which we walk in the world, and why.

The reasons we walk (or don't feel comfortable doing so due to safety, time, race, gender, infrastructure, walkability, etc) are important. They reflect the many social, cultural, political, and economic forces with which our lives are all intertwined.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't make this journey, but it does mean we should acknowledge why we can and continue to take steps to make the world an equitable place, one in which people have equal access to safety and walkability in their daily lives, and one in which more people can go for a walk for reasons other than pure necessity.


- Erin

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