Walking by Erling Kagge. When the only human means of transport becomes a disruptive gesture
Try to imagine a world without transportation. Without cars. Without bicycles. Even without animals like horses or donkeys. What is the only means of transport available to you? Look down. They are your legs. It is therefore quite peculiar that the Italian subtitle of the book Walking by Erling Kagge is “A subversive gesture”. Yet, if we think about it, in 2022, in the West, it is.
Who is Erling Kagge?
It is not possible to talk about Erling Kagge’s Walking without talking about Erling Kagge himself.
The author is in fact a multifaceted Norwegian. He is an explorer, a mountaineer, a record man but also a writer, editor, lawyer, and art collector.
Erling was born in Oslo in 1963 and was the first person to walk to the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Everest.
After working as a lawyer, he enrolled in Cambridge School of Philosophy and later founded a publishing house. Although he has stopped with the great explorations, Erling Kagge still continues to use his legs to discover the territory around him. Among others, he explored the sewers of New York and walked all along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (in three days).
He regularly goes to work by foot.
Why is walking good for you? Erling Kagge explains it to you
Walking: a subversive gesture is not a novel. It is neither a manual nor an essay. Erling Kagge’s text is a collection of many whys.
The most necessary obvious reason to walk is that walking is good for health, but it is not enough to make people abandon a lifestyle devoted to comfort at any cost.
Erling Kagge explains to us the sensations that he felt in the corners of the globe, from the poles to the bowels of Manhattan. He explains why his feet are his way of exploring, what he fails to see when he uses another means of transport and why he has decided to walk to work every day.
Walking: is it sport or a meditative experience?
it takes but a few lines to understand that walking for Erling Kagge is not just a sport but a true sensory experience that involves the body but above all the mind.
The legs are much more than a means of transport, they are a means to achieve mindfulness (understood as achieving awareness and the ability to be in the present moment in a non-judgmental way). Walking provides enough distraction to occupy the conscious mind but frees our subconscious to wander.
The advantage of walking is that it brings us back to slower rhythms and in harmony with nature. Finally, Kagge notices how, going more slowly, time seems to dilate.
Even if we don’t yet fully understand the connection between walking and intellect, we know it exists. So much so that it is well known that many thinkers and creative people have also been avid walkers.
Why you should read Walking by Erling Kagge
If you are a walker, Erling Kagge’s Walking is putting on paper everything you feel. The pleasure of working hard while hiking and discovering the world one step after another. A handbook you can tap into whenever the world doesn’t seem to understand why you would walk everywhere.