Running when traveling is also traveling ??‍♂️

Published on Apr 5, 2019

I'd recently taken to doing runs even while I'm traveling. I run 3 times a week back home, and it's gotten to a point where it's starting to feel like a hygiene kind of habit - where, like brushing your teeth every morning, if you don't do it, you feel ill at ease and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. I run mostly for health reasons. If I run, I feel better, have more energy, have less bodily aches, and feel more productive and better sense of well-being. Back home, I run the same old tired routes and it's just boring - I just do it because I have to. But running while traveling is different. I actually look forward to it and enjoy the experience. It's like a form of travel experience in itself.

Because when you run, you usually go down pathways or routes that you might not usually take as a tourist. Running through the back alleys and tiny streets in my hood in Kyoto now is a sight-seeing experience in itself, really. It's really fun to check out the quaint architecture of a typical Japanese neighbourhood, and observe how locals live out their lives and socialise with their neighbours. Otherwise, you might be running at a time that's unusual for a tourist, say at dawn before all the shops are opened. You get to see a different side to the streets before the hustle and bustle starts, and witness how a neighbourhood wakes up.

And sometimes you catch that famous street food stall that usually has long queues just as it opens for breakfast, and you happen to be the first one passing by. Negates all the health benefits of the run, but hey, why not?!