In Los Angeles, you definitely get accustomed to driving. The city is so widespread that traveling across its lengths requires an automobile. Public transportation is incompetent for the most part, and it would take days to complete the journey from the beach to the valley by walking. Having lived in LA my entire life, I've gotten used to spending a large chunk of time behind the wheel; in traffic on the 405, cruising down sunset, shifting through the canyon's overpass.
For spring break I travelled to the opposite coast to visit an old friend attending NYU. Quickly I discovered how commuting from one side of the Brooklyn Bridge to the other can be undertaken by various methods other than driving. You can walk, or bike, the mile long scenic path strung out across the bay. There is something crisp about the wind as it whips across your cheeks. The lengths in your steps seem to condense time and space differently than four wheels on a car.
We walked an average of five miles each day in New York City. You don't need to drive, and even if we were unable to complete the whole distance on foot, we could take the subway (I wish this was a thing in LA because the metro doesn't quite cut it). Compared to home, time moves slowly in New York. I feel like that goes against the very nature of the city: upbeat, fast-paced, rambunctious. But I feel like my days are more fleeting in Los Angeles because I dedicate so many hours to the drive times. When I walk, time moves at the pace of my steps. I can move as fast or as slow as I want. The foot traffic only surrounds me. Yes, there is an endless sea of ubers and taxis and drivers but I can choose to be apart from it. In New York, there's a choice. In LA, there is not.
I've realized the importance in walking to not only slow time down but to also take in the world I'm surrounded with and appreciate its worth. Like most people I'm sure, I sometimes get caught up in the routine of my life. I worry that it's moving by quicker than I can keep up, and it's just the rotating wheels of the car that blurs each day into the next. After this trip I've realized the importance of taking small moments to stop and stare, stroll outside, absorb the world among the chaos and the frequencies. Maybe time will go by slower.