We walked those long city blocks for miles when I was young in New York City. If you didn’t walk, you rode on the subway trains or the buses. For the cost of a token, the world – as seen from a proper New Yorkers’ perspective – was yours. Unless you had to go to some exotic location, like New Jersey or Long Island, you didn’t need a car. Then, of course, those locations required my father’s car. But ordinarily, you could get around by foot and public transportation.
On leaving New York to ramble, my thumb became my primary method of soliciting rides. The callouses on it became thick with use as I moved around large hunks of the United States and Canada. I still didn’t have a car.
Then there was a while when travel by boat was my favorite mode of transport. From where I lived, it was easier to get somewhere by boat. Especially if you adamantly refused to learn to drive. Somehow the Harbor master never pulled me over for speeding. But creating a blur of speed in the little wreck of a skiff I had just wasn’t possible.
I eventually learned to drive and am now among the ranks of the stodgy, traveling to and fro on hydro-carbon fumes.
If I had to pin down my favorite mode, I’d say that my sentimental favorite was by boat. There was a sense of adventure and challenge about it.
Of course, it was no fun that time I was lost in the fog. I was only thirty feet off the dock but didn’t know it for an hour.