Year: 90s to 2000s
Place: All over town, St. Thomas
Walking Was a Must……..
I walked to/from elementary school and high school everyday.
I walked from jr. high school most days and that was from Cancryn to Est. Thomas. So, I basically walked the length of waterfront and then some more. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t alone. This was the norm for a lot of schoolkids who didn’t have bus fare, spent their bus fare on something else, or just wanted to walk with their friends.
On some days when I stayed late after school to practice with the awesome Iguana PanJammers, I would walk down to the airport to hitch a ride home with my mother because at those times it was definitely too late to walk all the way home.
After school sometimes I even went past my house to walk my friends halfway home who lived further up the hill than I did. Then I walked back down the hill on my own.
GROCERY SHOPPING DAYS
I walked to/from Grand Union (until it was destroyed) or Pueblo every other week. And when it came to Pueblo, sometimes it was going down through housing or cutting up the back way, up the little hill with bags of groceries. So a walk and weightlifting.
Maybe this part was just me because my father didn’t have a car, but you best believe this child who loves food (have you read my eat them, don’t sell them posts – yea, I love food), didn’t have a problem walking anywhere to go get some.
I walked that same length that I did from jr. high days for jouvert morning.
I walked the length of the parade route to see the troupes that were further down the streets between all the gaps on parade day.
Village nights, I walked from home to the village or to the stadium if there was a show that night. And then some nights in the stadium, we spent it walking around in circles, looking for friends, hanging out, catching some of the show, then walking some more.
I don’t know if it’s still a thing now, but back in our day walk-a-tons were the norm for some fundraisers and we walked from the school to many different locations, sometimes as far as John Brewer’s Beach, so people could take a dip after the lengthy walk.
That was a lot of walking in my youth.
When I first moved to the states, I used to walk from where I stayed to college everyday. People thought I was weird or crazy, walking down the street with my headphones on singing like nobody’s business. To me, it made sense because distance-wise it was not that far. My only obstacle was that there was hardly any sidewalks where I walked, but that didn’t stop me.
The time that it took someone to pick me up or drop me off was less than 10 minutes. I would spend more time waiting on other people where I could’ve just took the extra 20 minutes and walked it myself. I didn’t have much patience for depending on people anyway, so walked it I did most days.
……..now not so much
Now, some years later, I have a FitBit that I received as a gift from my mother who has one as well. Several members in our family have one and we use it to motivate each other doing the WorkWeek Hustle and Weekend Warrior challenges on our FitBit app.
I can imagine if I had a FitBit growing up how many steps that I actually walked back then would be 10X more than what I walk today. I am slowly getting myself in the habit of getting more active because it is crazy to think that I could walk so much back then and struggle now to walk even half of that.
Measuring Distance Differently
That’s one thing that I can say I miss about home. Now when anyone visits from home and you tell them something is right up the street, they know it means like a 20 minute drive away versus when you were back home, right up the street meant right up the street (as in you could probably walk there with no problem).
Distance here is so much different than back home where everything was right there or a drive away meant you went from one end of the island to another in an hour or less (depending on the driver, yea my uncles drive crazy and fast) unlike here where it takes you an hour just to go less than 20 miles in this busy bumper-to-bumper lifestyle.
I can just see it now, walking and taking in the breeze from the island life. Maybe I might retire there when it’s back to it’s once glorious state and be the old granny walking on the waterfront every day reminiscing on the chronicles from an island gurl.
Do you walk as much as you used to as a kid? Was it a culture shock to see that statesiders did not walk to nearby places as you did back on your island home? Let me know in the comments, something that you did as a child that you definitely can’t do as much of now.