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I never understood people who stressed about squeezing in workouts while on vacation. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but you can tell I’m on vacation when my step count starts to go off the charts. I can’t seem to stop myself from accidentally walking 5k’s every day I’m in a new place. Even on our honeymoon, my husband and I walked around 10,000-20,000 steps a day. We weren’t even trying to get exercise; it was just something that happened. Exploring every corner of the night market in Bophut Fisherman’s Village: 500 steps, transferring lines and weaving our way through crowds in MTR stations: 200 steps, running to catch the Star Ferry before the light show: 300 steps. It all adds up.

I’ve also found that one of my favorite ways to explore cities is slowly…like at a walking pace, which is why I often shy away from the double decker hop-on, hop-off busses that whiz through cities. No matter where I am from when I lived a summer in the dorms at Loyola Marymount University, to when I studied abroad at King’s College, my way of getting to know a place was by walking it. Every day, after class or dinner, I would slip on my sneakers, and start walking.

When I’m walking, I hear the sounds of the city. I get to observe and process all the calm and quiet or bustling business around me. I get to peek into pastry shop windows and pop into interesting cafes. Sometimes, it’s stressful if the weather isn’t cooperating or if I’m lost or running to catch public transit, but most of the time, it’s my favorite way to spend time when I’m traveling.

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