Walkabout 1: My Apartment to Wanda
Ludwig van Beethoven. Charles Darwin. Steve Jobs. And, yes - Seth Barham. What do all of these extraordinary men have in common? They loved long walks, and not just on the beach. A 2014 Stanford study produced evidence that long walks stimulate the mind, freeing up pathways that may remain blocked while sitting still. A whopping 81% of participants saw an increase in creativity while walking (read the study if you want to know the methodology). I've long incorporated walks into my routine because these studies reflect my own experience - I am simply more creative afterward.
I've decided to combine this part of my creative process with a sort of photojournalistic endeavor. I take one of my frequent routes, or a new one, and document what I see along the way. My plan is to capture a different route every month, especially while I'm in China as you will see some things here on the average walk that really amaze you and, occasionally, make you scratch your head.
Today I took a route that I know so well that I could probably navigate it while completely trashed. I am, of course, far too responsible of an individual for that abhorrent, juvenile behavior. But, hypothetically speaking, I could totally do that. This is the way from my apartment to Wanda shopping center. I like this walk a lot, because it transitions from the heart of Daqing's financial district to a lush, green park and ends at a high-end shopping mall surrounded by towering apartment blocks. It's a walk that sums up the China dynamic fairly well. I usually go here for Starbucks to get some work done (don't judge, the WiFi is reliable) or my favorite bar in all of Daqing - Shadow Gallery.
I find this route to be a great way to think about my goals and the steps I need to achieve them before I begin working. Once all of this information is crystalized in my mind, it's much easier to get into a state of flow while working. You can take a look at the route below and can also click the link to view it on Google Maps.