I most definitely knew not having my car in Madrid would be one of the biggest adjustments I would have to make in my experience abroad. Living in the suburbs of the giant, hot city of Houston in the giant, hot state of Texas, I could not imagine not having my very own, air-conditioned method of transportation. However, as skeptical and unexcited as I was to rely on my feet so much, it has been such an unexpectedly pleasant adjustment. I went from being in my car at least twice a day to being in a car once in the last two weeks that I have been in Madrid. Walking everywhere has not only given me the opportunity to squeeze in some exercise while I’m figuring out school and still feeling too tired to do some real exercise (then again, will I ever be ready?), but it has also allowed me to explore the beautiful city that is Madrid. Back home, I have never had a solid moment where I am laying in my bed and decide to meet up with some friends and just walk and admire the city. I know that it is different because I am in an unfamiliar place where I have plenty to explore, but the point is that it has felt so beyond natural. Walking everywhere, I just feel like I have more energy to carry on throughout the day, although I am definitely exhausted by the time I get home at night.
I walk an average of 17,000 steps a day, which amounts to about 7 miles (courtesy of my partner in crime’s FitBit). I do not miss having a car in the slightest bit, especially as I also have the metro system in Madrid. Now, I understand that living in the big city that I do, it would be unrealistic to bring this habit home because I wouldn’t get very far just walking thirty minutes, but my point is that it is possible to not rely on a car to survive while adding some healthy activity to your body. It has been a refreshing adjustment to forget about getting stuck in traffic or spending your money on filling up your gas tank which you’ll need to refill in less than two weeks, and just walk.
The world awaits…discover it.