The title of my blog comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's book The Reveries Of The Solitary Walker, a collection of 10 walking soliloquies. It's described in the blurb of my own copy as follows:
First published posthumously in 1782 from an unfinished manuscript, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker continues Rousseau's exploration of the soul in the form of a final meditation on self-understanding and isolation.
In his book Walkers Miles Jebb quotes this passage from Rousseau:
In thinking over the details of my life which are lost to my memory, what I most regret is that I did not keep diaries of my travels. Never did I think so much, exist so vividly, and experience so much, never have I been so much myself - if I may use that expression - as in the journeys I have taken alone and on foot. There is something about walking which stimulates and enlivens my thoughts. When I stay in one place I can hardly think at all; my body has to be on the move to set my mind going. The sight of the countryside, the succession of pleasant views, the open air, a sound appetite, and the good health I gain from walking, the easy atmosphere of an inn, the absence of everything that makes me feel my dependence, of everything that recalls me to my situation - all these serve to free my spirit, to lend a greater boldness to my thinking, to throw me, so to speak, into the vastness of things, so that I can combine them, select them and make them mine as I will, without fear or restraint.