Every other night, for the past few weeks, Nabeel and I have been stepping out for a walk in our neighborhood. After work, we’ll get into comfortable shoes and randomly pick a route for the night. Sometimes we’ll walk one way around the marina, sometimes the other, and then sometimes along the main street. The weather is incredible these days with just the right amount of chill, the most perfect breeze and a sweet quietness in the air. There are people everywhere, hanging out on benches, running, biking, eating at roadside restaurants, chatting as they walk by, yet it never feels loud, just a very calm buzz all around.
I’m a creature of intoxication with pointless plans, so each time we step out, we pick a tiny milestone for that day. Let’s walk to the coffee shop and back, or let’s walk to that restaurant, get a light dinner and head home. Maybe get to that bridge on the far end of the marina and see all the eating places along the way. One night we walked along the main road all the way to our favorite chai place, stopping at signals, over pedestrian crossings and ended up discovering neighborhood shops we’d never seen before. It’s interesting how the same thing looks entirely different when you experience it from a different perspective.
We pretty much download our entire day on each other as soon as meet after work so while walking our conversations are more luxurious. Random goals, life plans, silly discussions. It’s things you don’t really find the time for or remember to talk about when at home because something’s always there to occupy your attention. Then at times, it’s also really nice to walk together in silence and just spend time in your own head. Reconcile your thoughts or maybe just stay blank. It’s incredible how your best dates with a partner or even yourself are often the ones that cost you nothing at all. Talk, no talk, enjoy the night lights, rate restaurants as we walk past them, people watch, feel grateful for our lives, all the good stuff that comes for free.
It’s a routine yet with no structure and just a simple reminder that it’s always the small things that’ll bring you joy the most.