Let's See Where This Thing Goes / by Kevin Swantek


Welcome to Sole of Seattle, my blog about walking. My hope for Sole of Seattle is to explore walking as a both a lifestyle, and a tool. There will be posts that discuss the “how to”, “what gear”, and health benefits of walking; but to a larger extent, I hope to expand my philosophy on walking, as well as searching on foot to find the unseen connections between Seattle's history, neighborhoods, and communities.

As I write more, you'll definitely get to know more about me. I grew up in a small town near the coast of Washington, and moved to Seattle about 15 years ago. Though my history with walking goes back much further, when I first moved to Seattle I used it as a means of keeping Seattle small, and manageable. As tactics go, that helped me make the transition from small town to big city, but it also meant that I didn't leave myself very open to seeking out new places, or meeting new people that didn't exist in the little bubble that I created for myself. I wouldn't truly get to know a lot more about the city (outside of the u-district) until several years later.

I've always been someone who takes a little longer to adjust to new surroundings, and find a level of comfort in new situations. I'm slow to warm up to people, and at a party full of strangers I think I probably cling to the people I know more than someone else might. The longer I've lived in Seattle though, the more I've found walking as an opportunity to safely explore the unknown. As I've ventured out further and further, I've also found myself naturally opening up more, meeting new and interesting people, and searching out new experiences.

All of that is to express the challenge that this blog really represents. It means that to be successful, and accomplish what I want to accomplish, I have to reach further outside of my comfort zone than I have had to up until this point. I can't just sit back as a casual observer. I'm going to have to truly make a commitment to bond with my city on a much more intimate level.

My schedule will be to post two smaller thoughts per week every Wednesday and Friday, while releasing a larger article every Monday. Once a month I will write a detailed travel log of a one day exploration through a different neighborhood of Seattle. The travel log will include visiting neighborhood shops, eating at neighborhood restaurants, and finding hidden coffee gems, while talking to people in the neighborhood about their relationship to where they live and work.

As much as Sole of Seattle might be a social challenge for myself, it's also a way for me to express my passion for walking. Walking really does make my life better, daily. It grounds me to my environment, helps relieve the stresses of life, and gives my mind an opportunity to open to those things that are sometimes hard to immediately understand. Walking allows me the time to process all of those big things that are happening in the world (that I have no control over), as well as the "small" things that very directly affect my everyday life. I look forward to sharing my experience, as I continue walking forward on this journey.