5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Walk by Themselves When Downtown on a Sunday

Life is a stressful journey, regardless of what part you are in. Some of us have just started a new school year. Others began new careers that might last for decades. Many may be going through the ins-and-outs of relationship failures. Most importantly, many of us are trying to survive the chaos of maintaining the cycle that we are currently in. Regardless of where you are in Erik Erickson’s Psychosocial Development model, walking in the city with no headphones can provide you with the break you need or the answers you are searching for.

 

  1. 1. The Background Noise

    Suburbs and rural places are known for their quiet environments. Although that can be peaceful, the normalcy and repetitive nature can make us feel like we're going backward rather than forward. The city is filled with lots of noises, and at times the plethora of sounds can allow us to form connections. Chatter from all age groups coexist. You can selectively hear the conversations that are taking place in real life as you go to your next destination. The fact that many people in one place can come together to do a superfluity of vocations and activities is one reminder of how impressive humanity can be.

  2. 2. Witnessing and Then Joining the Gift of Giving

    When in Downtown Orlando, I witnessed an elderly church lady giving some Caribbean food to a homeless man. Because of the humid, warm nature of Florida, I bought him some water and ice cream. No one wants to eat something and have nothing to drink with it. And having a form of dessert every once in a while can change that person’s day. H. Jackson Brown Jr says it best when he urges us to “remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

  3. 3. Talented Individuals

    Sometimes you're able to hear Latino musicians perform in their native language for a festival, hoping that they can get their name out there and make it big. Other times, it’s simply a person who's waiting for the library to open, who shares their musical prowess with those around them. You don’t have to give a dollar, but the ability to listen and recognize that there are people out there who want to share their creative passions is an inspirational feat that we can all add to our lives.

  4. 4. People You Don’t Know Say Hello to You

    I go to an institution with the largest student population in the United States. However, sometimes it feels like everyone is more apart than together. One reason could be because of the varying levels of introversion and extraversion. Another reason is the fast-paced nature that exists during the school week. One distinction from college that I quickly noticed while downtown on a Sunday is that while walking on the street, there was always someone who was willing to say “Hello!” or “Have a great day!”

    It wasn’t only from retail or service professionals. It was the grandmother with her grandchildren running around. It was the man with his crew of comrades, trying to hit the next destination on their list. Sometimes it's not even a hello. It’s the person who asks where the straws are at in Starbucks. You’ll probably never see them again, but that quick, short response can leave a mark on some.

  5. 5. The Architecture and Infrastructure

    Skyscrapers and tall buildings. Libraries that have multiple floors and their own bookstore, where you can purchase literature that might have a remarkable place in your life. Mom-and-pop shops that are still open, allowing them to leave their marks despite a growing age of corporate chains. The sidewalks that are filled with runners and walkers with their dogs and families. There are benches to enjoy the view—to pause just for a minute and breathe. It's a Sunday, so it's not as busy as other days. You don't have to focus on the rat race right at this moment.

When you're somebody like me, who is young and barely has the chance to explore much on their own, taking the opportunity to venture into a big city is something that can clear your mind and help you regroup. Sometimes you have to go through things alone, with just you and the environment around you, to help you grow.

Images: All images and videos were provided by the author.