What is it we like about travelling, visiting cities around the world?
The chance to escape the everyday hustle and bustle of everyday life, sounds and smells, the destinations, experiences and sense of discovery along the way?
Research shows that, when we travel, we value the ability to move around the places we visit by simpler means of travel like walking or cycling.
By slowing down you can soak up the finer details of street life, stop spontaneously, follow your senses, meet and interact with locals and find your own way.
The great cities of the world realised this many years ago and have focused efforts on making walking and cycling an easier, more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
In recent years I have been fortunate enough to travel to many cities around the world with family and friends. Walking is my mode of choice for short distances and share or hire bike for wider-ranging exploration and discovery.
Some of my most treasured memories are walking between cafes and patisseries in Paris to meet friends from Bendigo at the Louvre, grabbing a share bike and riding across bustling London, Father's Day on a cargo bike in Portland, Oregon, or cruising between street art murals along Detroit's revitalised Dequindre Cut.
A standout experience for me was riding a Dutch share bike around the city of Delft. It is truly remarkable that a city with a similar population to Bendigo in less than one-tenth of the space can be so quiet and beautiful yet so busy with people, culture and cafes.
Coming home it can be easy to slip back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. But by walking or cycling more you can bring home the joy and discovery of travel by slowing down.
You'll notice more of what is happening between places, the details, culture, changes in seasons and be more ready to stop and smell the roses - or the coffee.