Join Me for the World Wide Wander!

The World Wide Wander is a FREE 12-hour “Wanderthon” coming up September 29th, including an online, live-streamed program of 6 “Wanders/WalkShops” on 6 continents that anyone can join from anywhere, using just their phone.

Choose to be Curious is a proud partner in this year’s World Wide Wander, the brainchild of Street Wisdom. Street Wisdom transforms ordinary city streets into inspirational learning zones. I’ll be joining founder David Pearl, as well as partners from Channel Twelve and Goodness Exchange, for Wander 5 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time–and I hope you’ll join us!

In Arlington, VA / DVM? Gather with us in person, with Ashely Goff at the Community Garden, Arlington Presbyterian Church, 9th & South Lincoln Street, Arlington. We’ll gather at 11:00 a.m. in the Community Garden, join the Wander 5 WalkShop via Zoom at 11:30, and wander for an hour in and around Columbia Pike. Register here.

Literally anywhere else? Join us for Wander 5 (starting at 5:00 p.m. in Berlin; 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time; 8:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time…) from the comfort of your home, from a hotel room while you travel, or anywhere in between, wherever that may be! Register here.

“WalkShops” start with a series of short exercises that are designed to tune-up your senses so you can tune-in to the world around you. Each participant chooses their own question they would like some fresh thinking on, and then sets off in search of insights, ideas and answers, looking for signs and signals from the streets or spaces they explore.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Street Wisdom founder David Pearl earlier this summer. It was the perfect conversation to mark my 200th episode! I think of Street Wisdom as borne of “meticulous whimsy” —  a smart fusion of mindfulness, neuroscience, imagination and wellness, it unlocks our minds and unblocks our creativity with every step. Listen to the conversation with David and you’ll understand…

Why do I love Street Wisdom so much? Two stories:

Story #1: In the thick of the pandemic, I joined a virtual WalkShop from my then new-to-me-condo. I was on the cusp of some big changes and I was looking for insights and inspiration for what might come next. We were all nervous about being out in others’ company, so I was wandering in my own home, which — I will admit — felt a little limiting at first. But: not! Eventually I found myself poking around in my utility closet. I noticed an old faded sticker on the side of the HVAC system and peeled back its curled edge so I could read what it said.

 “CAUTION: HAZARD OF ELECTRIC SHOCK – more than one disconnect switch may be required to re-energize the device for servicing”

And there I had it: a bit of wisdom about what it might take to disconnect and re-energize myself. A bit of wisdom I would never have seen, never been receptive to, but for the Street Wisdom framework.

Story #2: This morning, as I headed out for my usual morning walk, I thought about the Street Wisdom tune-up to pay attention to what attracts you — and what doesn’t. I realized I habitually block out all the signage along the street because I find it so overstimulating. (I do this with magazines as well, often ironically missing entirely what is supposed to be a BIG HEADLINE. Go figure.)

I crossed a busy intersection, turned right along the bike path, and headed across a footbridge to the calm of Roosevelt Island, in the Potomac River between Arlington and Washington, D.C. There, in the cool woods, as the whirr of cicadas rose and fell and the thrum of rush hour traffic receded a bit, and I came upon … signage.

“Frederick Douglass Wrote: Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.” — Experience Your America, US Park Service

Not all signage is created equal, I thought to myself, but I was grateful for the US government’s declaration that people are.

You just never know what the streets will yield..unless you go looking.

Join us in person or on-line. Come, choose to be curious!

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