Hmmm, so this week I discovered a new word – Coddiwomple! It apparently means to travel in a purposeful manner towards a destination that is vague!
Sometimes I think walking is like that, travelling with a purpose but with only a vague destination in mind. I guess on those occasions the purpose is to enjoy the walking experience for itself, the outdoors, the countryside etc but not being too concerned about where your legs take you. And maybe that is the best sort of walking. Often, and certainly with multi-day end to end walks, it is the destination that holds sway, to rise to the challenge of travelling from point A on foot to reach point B which is perhaps several hundred miles away. Whilst of course carrying everything on your back. And then to take a celebratory selfie beside the finishing post just to prove you did it.
That kind of purposeful walking to a set destination has its pleasures and I really enjoy those challenges. But I also like the other kind of walking, I like to coddiwomple! Sometimes I like to just set out with nothing particular in mind and to decide in the moment which path to take and to follow it wherever it takes me, or until I meet another path and then decide again. Maybe there is a clump of woodland that looks interesting so lets head over there, and maybe then a hill that looks as if it might have a view so lets climb up that, and then maybe it might be good just to sit for an hour or so and take in the view…….. Of course, you do need to keep in mind that you need to get back home eventually, but hey, we spend most of our lives having both to do things purposefully, and to arrive at fixed destinations, to meet work deadlines or achieve results etc and it can be good to take a break from that for a time.
I’ve always been a bit of a lone walker, but last year I joined a walking group and we coddiwomple! Well, in the sense that we often have vague destinations. Well, actually, sometimes pretty vague routes too (with route finding decisions often being made on the hop by committee). Hmmm, actually, I’m not sure we often travel purposefully either 🙂 ! Maybe there is a better word to describe what we do 🙂 ! Becoming part of a group though has added another dimension to my walking and I really enjoy that.
Mind you, the expression ‘to travel towards a vague destination’ can be just an excuse anyway, a different way of saying, ‘I’m lost’ 🙂 !
So, how about it, how about going for a coddiwomple this weekend? Just head out purposefully and see where you get to!
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Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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