Book review: Walking. One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge

Walking is man’s best medicine. Hippocrates

Paradise is where I am. Voltaire

This book is genius. That should be my whole review, but I’ll try to explain why.

Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer and the author of Silence (my book review you can read here) which is a fascinating read. From this book is coming one of my favourite quotations: “Being on the journey is almost always more satisfying than reaching the goal.” (p. 126) His next book is on walking. It explains and explores the process, the ability, the relativism, the poetry, the philosophy, the medicine, the wisdom behind – one can say – the simple and basic human skill: walking. He refers to many philosophers, writers, artists, explorers, as well as to his own experiences, e.g. to his walking through LA, walking towards the South Pole or walking through New York’s sewerage system. I think the genius of this book is that he presents walking as poetry, as something so fascinating and beautiful that we immediately want to go out and try it as a new (more aware!) experience. Below I list some of my favourite quotations:

“I got lost here before, so now I know where we are.” (p. 21)

“I don’t expect some great thrill on the way to work each morning but I do expect something.” (p. 30)

“To walk is to enjoy simple pleasures.” (p. 98)

“It took me years to realise that a single piece of chocolate tastes better than an entire bar.” (p. 98)

“The present moment and the eternity are not necessarily opposites. Time ceases, and both can be experienced at once.” (p. 134)

It was a true pleasure to read the book. Do let me know in the comments below what impressed you most in Walking.

Kinga Macalla

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