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Rosemary Mann

Aothor Rosemary Mann sitting on a bench.

Rosemary Mann is a keen traveller from Salt Spring Island, Canada.

Earlier travel with her partner and two then teen-aged kids was documented in an online publication called Running Away with Your Children. Further family travel to Ecuador was also blogged about.

Now, as a couple in their fifties, Rosemary and her partner Nedjo Rogers have discovered the joy of long distance walking and slow travel. Rosemary wrote daily about her experiences on Portugal’s Rota Vicentina and realized that it would be great to share this with others who may also be discovering this new (old) way of travelling.

Rosemary and Nedjo work together at Chocolate Lily Web Projects and are part of the Drutopia website software initiative on which Walking Away is built.

Why I walk

For most of my life I’ve been a pedestrian. As a child I walked to school, switching to a bicycle in high school. After moving from a small town to the city at age 17, a car was out of reach (and unnecessary) and so started a life mostly lived car-free.

People thought we’d change that when we had kids, but we didn’t. We continued to walk, cycle and take the bus discovering beaches and camping we could access on public transit. Walking the kids home from school is one of my favourite memories of those parenting years when the stories would pour out block after block. Walking home from work also provided that transition time between the work world and home.

When moving to a more rural island, the challenge of not driving surfaced again. We do share a place with my sister who has a car and we’re grateful for rides, but still try to make our own way when we can on foot and bus (and bike for my partner).

Whether in the city or the country, by foot is always how we have wanted to explore and experience places and we seem to be good walking companions, happy to chat or to walk in comfortable silence. So for us, adding in the joy of long distance walking and realizing that there are so many trails for us to walk has felt like a reward for a lifetime of being pedestrians.