Urban Walkabout

Urban Walkabout is a sport I invented many years ago. You may know it by a different name: Walking a Really Long Way through Your Own City.

It happened by accident when my plane landed in San Jose, California one Sunday. Had no ride, lots of time to kill, and didn’t want to pay a $40 cab fare to Sunnyvale.

So I walked.

It was about 10 miles, maybe two and a half hours. Though the area is completely built up, it was unexpectedly and extremely interesting. I found abandoned buildings, detoured around a National Guard armory, crossed a small farm, was chased by a farm dog, went through a tunnel, found relic headquarters of hoary Silicon Valley names like Fairchild Semiconductor, and generally had a great time. It was free, I got some exercise, and was only slightly sore from carrying a duffel for 10 miles.

It was so fun that I did it again, by a different route, the next time I landed in San Jose.

Since then, I’ve done urban walkabouts of similar distance in Orange County and London. Highly recommended.

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