Back in the day, as kids, my sister and I walked (before my sister got her bike) back home everyday — from school.  I met Basil, our very first interaction, on a walk back to the train station. Walking has always been one of my favourite activities. And, I was never the athletic kind, preferring to stay buried in my books; oddly, it was something I was good at. Fortunately, long walks never disappoint. I’ve forged (sometimes broken) friendships over long walks. Contemplated on existential issues on walks by the sea. Tried to clear my troubled mind on extremely long walks. And had some very interesting conversations and debates on never-ending walks. Walking has always inspired us, the way we travel,  the way we write or capture whas around us, also quite naturally, our blog. 

Exploring Olle Trail 2, Jeju

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

Albert Einstein

Low tide, Gwangchigi Beach, Jeju

The beauty of walking doesn’t just lie in the independence of choosing to follow your two feet over your mind. It’s what you get to see along the way. And, no matter which trail you choose to paint those brown hues; there will always be an experience waiting for you. Small joys are easy to find on a rugged muddy path, on a cold snowy mountain, or on the soft sand of a beach. Magic can be real, if you want to believe in it. Look closer, open your hand, let go, and you’d realise nature was waiting all along for you. All you had to do, was be present at the right moment, and believe.

En route Mt. Achasan, Seoul

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.

Theodore Roethke

En route Mt. Ingwansan, Seoul

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Cherry Blossom, Han River, Seoul

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.

Jules Renard

En route Mt. Hallasan, Jeju

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somewhere in the Sea, Gwangchigi Beach, Jeju

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

En route Kala Top Sanctuary, Dalhousie

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

Posted by:twobrownfeet

Writer-Photographer Duo. Now in Seoul.

43 replies on “A Kind Of Magic

  1. Isn’t it nice and lovely that you met Basil on one of your walks home from school? 😉 Very sweet. I too like walking and I agree with you – it is not about putting one foot in front of the other but what we see around us as we walk. We can choose any trail and there is something we can learn from it. Even if it’s the same trail we walk every day, one day we might discover something different about it. Or meet someone who will connect with for the rest of our lives, like yours and Basil’s romantic story goes 🙂

    I like the Emerson quote a lot. Agree spirit lies in nature around us. We just have to slow down in order to see it. Nature changes naturally according to season before we even realise it, something that concrete buildings in a dense city doesn’t (the latter which is all man-made intervention). And so, nature is indeed magic 🙂 Enjoy walking, Cheryl. Many more walks to come with Basil.

    1. Thank you so much, Mabel. I didn’t meet Basil in school, couple of years later. But, it was on a walk. haha! I’m so glad that so many bloggers enjoy walking. I know many (friends) who hate to walk. They can’t understand why do we walk so much. 🙂 Seoul has been excellent with some fantastic walking trails. I haven’t reached the fitness level I hope to achieve. Thanks once again for your comment! What a great way to start the week! Have a great week yourself. 🙂

      1. I think if I visited Seoul I would love it. It sounds like here in Melbourne where everyone walks. It takes time to build fitness levels. I have just started hiking this year and I have built up to being able to hike on flat terrain for 2 hours a stretch without feeling puffed. Keep walking 🙂

  2. Walking is near and dear to my own heart (and feet!), as you know. There is definitely magic in walking: new sights, new thoughts, and the most elusive magic of all, an in-the-moment enjoyment of life.

      1. That’s great Cheryl. I think its a great time to let your mind do some thinking or enjoy the views…maybe chat with a friend you’re accompanying with you! How you’ve been doing?

      2. All my hikes/walks are with my travel partner/friend/hubby, Basil. We do have some excellent conversations on these journeys. 🙂 I’m doing good, Arvind. Thanks for asking. It’s been 2 weeks since we’re back from a trip to Jeju (an island off the coast of Korea). Temperatures are dipping drastically here and looks like it’s time to get ready for a cold winter. 🙂 How have things been on your end?

      3. I have heard quite a bit on jeju. well out here its been anxious two weeks post demonetization. You must be knowing by now. Its been bad for business and people.
        Winter? I love it.

      4. Yes! Jeju is a popular tourist hub! 🙂 Fortunately, we tried to get off the popular trail. I did hear of demonetization. We keep getting regular updates from family and friends. It’s been pretty bad — the way I understand. I do hope the situation settles.

      5. Its always good to ward off from the popular trails and explore.
        As for the situation here, the opinion is divided. Only time will prove if it was a decision taken to prove one’s opinion or it was good for everyone. Looking at how things have fared in UK and US it might not be as great as it is claimed to be. For time being its trouble for everyone, rich to poor.

      6. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Learned this from my parents who’ve seen some rough times and have taught us to never give up without a fight. That being said, sadly, the poor have it bad. From what I hear, things are slowly stabilising in parts. I’m hoping things get OK soon. Fingers crossed.

      7. I’m not sure if its stabilizing in the real sense. The good or bad part in our country is that we accept and adjust rather than fight against it. The fact is that during last three days, most banks dont have any cash to disburse. Also no more exchange of old notes. you need to deposit it in a bank account. While we all agree that cancer needs to be treated, chemo-therapy has its side effect; there are collateral damages. The situation is quite similar!

      8. True. You make some valid points. I hear your frustration. It’s not easy to stand against the tide. Hopefully, there will be a solution to the chaos. Sigh!

      9. I hope things improve for everyone soon! Right now its the NRI and non resident Indians who don’t know what to do with the Currency they are holding.

    1. Haha! Very true. We did walk along the sea bottom in Pattaya and it was magical! It was a horrible experience for me(couldn’t seem to get my footing right), but I’d like to remember only the beauty of what I saw around me.

  3. This is such a beautiful post. Both the quotes and the photographs. I love walking! Especially in a forest, or towards a waterfall and I love collecting little bits of magic along the way, much like in your photos. Beautiful photo of low tide and also of the fragile thin white cherry blossom.


  4. Lucky you to have Basil to walk with, Cheryl! I enjoy walking but can’t seem to find someone who shares the same sentiment. Generally, people nowadays seem to always be in a hurry to get to their destination while keeping their eyes glued to their mobile phones!

    1. I’m so fortunate, different as we maybe, we share travel and walking as a common interest. I understand, people hate walking these days. For us, it’s the best way to explore places. We clocked 17000 footsteps, per day, on our Jeju trip. Haha! Technology has given us a way to measure our walks. I really don’t like to check my phone on a trip. I prefer the real to virtual! Have a super weekend, Helen! Hugs

  5. Hi again, have just read some of the other comments. I too am a walker who loves being out in nature. Can’t often get my husband to join me but the dog is happy either way – she’s my source of companionship and doesn’t talk back. I find it a great way of thinking through issues. And being able to track your steps – priceless!! (Not really, but definitely a bonus!!)

    1. Thanks for your comment. 🙂 It’s always nice to have company on walks. And although, Basil, my husband is with me; I prefer to walk in silence. Take everything in. As you say, it is definitely a great way to think through issues or just calm your mind. We’d love to adopt a dog. Hasn’t really worked out though. Maybe, because of our travel. Thanks once again for stopping by and commenting. And I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post! Have a great week ahead!

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