I recently had a message from a lovely follower on Instagram who asked me to cover the topic of walking to work. I was delighted on two fronts; firstly to have a topic to blog about and secondly because I have a weird affection for morning routines. It turns out a lot of people do! Remember this post on breakfast? So many great comments.
When I began working in the city in late November I opted to walk instead of commuting via tram. I had just left a job where I drove 17km to the office in the suburbs and the prospect of walking was honestly the main reason I was excited to start my new role. I had visions of arriving at work fresh and invigorated from my 4.5km jaunt and getting home in the evening, sufficiently wound-down and clear-headed.
There are a few considerations with walking to work; how do you manage all the pairs of shoes needed? How do you get to work without being drenched in sweat? Here are my tips for pounding the pavement to work and back again:
When walking at least 9km a day ‘comfortable flats’ is an oxymoron. Flat shoes generally don’t provide enough support, so super light runners are the way to go (also quite the fashion statement!). I keep a pair of suede black heels – that I’m highly unlikely to need on weekends, under my desk to swap into or carry work shoes in a tote bag with me.
I’ve tried walking in active wear as well as my work clothes. Unless it’s really hot or I need to walk super fast I prefer just wearing my work clothes. I find it too risky to pack a change of clothes in case I forget something or crush a freshly ironed shirt. Plus it’s a lot to carry with everything else. Sometimes I do arrive at work a little hot and sweaty, so I just sit and cool down on a bench out the front or at my desk for a moment. Then I head to the bathroom and cover myself in a light cloud of deodorant. No complaints so far!
I don’t have a very big handbag so I carry a material tote bag over my shoulder containing my change of shoes, lunch and an umbrella. The bag is super light (I got it from Tommy Hilfiger at least 10 years ago) and folds up really small, it’s also wider than your average tote so if I need to grab food on the way home there’s plenty of room.
A commute that takes an hour and a half a day (most of which is waiting at pedestrian crossings) leaves plenty of time for my all-round favourite pastime: listening to podcasts. If you like true crime I recommend: My Favourite Murder, Dirty John and Trace. If you like great human interest stories/storytelling and interviews I recommend: The Moth, Death Sex & Money, Mortified and S Town. If you like high production value stories on human behaviour, science and history I recommend Human/Ordinary, Invisibilia, Revisionist History and This American Life. That is an overwhelming list, at the moment I pretty much just binge My Favourite Murder with a few This American Lifes thrown in. I’ll do a dedicated post on podcasts with episode recommendations soon!
There are some really average drivers and cyclists around… Make sure you stay alert while crossing roads and for the love of god please don’t look down at your phone while walking! Also once I had a weird experience with a man who sidled up next to me while I was completely zoned out listening to My Favourite Murder. He practically stood in front of me to get my attention, so I had to stop and take out my earphones. Then he asked me out. I was SO mad at being interrupted! And also worried I’d encounter him again. But I didn’t! Be aware: creeps are everywhere. SSDGM
Walking is a really nice way to commute and if you live close enough to work, I highly recommend giving it a go. It’s good for your health, cheaper than public transport and a whole lot better for the environment than driving.
How do you get to work?