Growing up in Germany those New Years Day walks were generally long strolls with my parents through our neighbourhood. Skipping past the remainders of the fireworks that hours earlier brought New Year in with a bang and the early cleaners of last nights’ parties, we would head towards the fields, thankful for the cold wind to clear our hung-over (me) and tired (my parents) heads. Long sated silences were intertwining with random thoughts and stories and only interrupted to wish any neighbour, friend, dog-walker or on-comer a heartfelt “frohes Neues”!
When I moved to England I took this tradition with me. Although there is clearly less wind here and way more rain. Instead of a long stroll the Englishman and I chose a mapped walk each year somewhere in the surrounding districts (this year we explored the Upper Don Valley). We put our walking boots on and head out hoping to make it back just before darkness falls. The long sated silences are interrupted by hugs and happy giggles about random stories from the year that past.
It's different, but I love it either way. It gets my out of the house. It brings achievement to the first day of a new year. It clears my mind and it simply makes me happy, for I am most myself in my walking boots.
How do you kick start the New Year? In walking boots or more likely PJ'S? What's the one thing you can't start the year without?