You don’t always have to go on a great long walk to kick start your creative intelligence. Sure a day up in the Bavarian Alps is certainly spectacular but when you’re pressed for time and ideas a quick saunter along a river can help too. Sometimes just getting out and taking an hour or so for a wander can do wonders for your brain.
I’m fortunate enough to live in one of the loveliest cities you could imagine; Munich offers so many delightful backdrops, secret routes, hidden graveyards, ancient streams, secluded beer gardens and shady back alleys that it’s hard to choose which one to use for a creative walk. The city’s biggest walking asset, however, is the river Isar, and you can often find me strolling along its pebbled banks.
There’s something quite magical about the Isar during the summer, especially around early evening when the sun is a little lower, and the insects are buzzing in the bushes. The banks of the river are alive with families, small children, teenagers and the smell of smoke, charcoal, grilled sausages and sun-block fill the air. People are playing, eating and drinking in groups and you’ll find the odd person sitting by themselves, staring out into the river, watching the sunlight sparkle on the water. Hearts have been won, lost and broken here.
It’s beautiful. It’s hard not to let your mind wander and imagine ideas when you’re walking down here; the river is long enough to offer creative walks that can tackle any tricky challenge. Science tells us what happens to our brains when we walk but the Isar offers a slightly more romantic explanation. A walk from where I live, down the river to Munich’s zoo and back again is about eight kilometres, which is plenty of time to mull over a tricky briefing and come up with an answer to a troublesome question. It’s short enough to be home for supper without being shattered.
Regardless of where ever you live, remember to take the time to escape the office trap, discover your city, find those secret places and exercise your creative muscle. It’s worth it.