The Shortest Distance

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. At least that’s what I was taught in school. I didn’t know about the exception:

“A straight line isn’t always the shortest distance between two points. The shortest distance between two points depends on the geometry of the object/surface in question. For flat surfaces, a line is indeed the shortest distance, but for spherical surfaces, like Earth, great-circle distances actually represent the true shortest distance.”

Perhaps it’s not about the two points, but HOW we move between them. 

Depending on the distance, walking is my favorite mode of transportation, (no less than six miles per day). 

If we take the truck, it means we’re on a road trip, and you have to love that! 

In the Fiat? I’m running errands in town. 

On our bikes, or in the plane? We’re enjoying a goof-off day.

What about you? What’s your favorite way to get between Point A and Point B?


35 thoughts on “The Shortest Distance

  1. I enjoy walking as well. I can walk as much as 10-12k but then I can’t rely on it depending on my daily plans. Some days I walk so little, drive or get a cab or Keke. But when I visit the farm, I walk a lot.

    Much blessing 💜🌷

  2. I enjoy train travel. So relaxing and you can enjoy the views. We often go to Barcelona or Madrid via train. I also enjoy a road trip in the car or on the motorcycle. And when we owned a boat, we would visit my daughter, who lives on a gulf island, via boat and I loved it. I am one of the few who enjoys flying as well. I guess I just like to travel! I haven´t tried dog sled, yet.

  3. Six? A day??? Dedicated!

    I cope with post-polio syndrome, so it’s only once or twice a week I can get that far — and that’s ‘cause I have to & am generally carrying or dragging a load. Other days, about a mile. Definitely too much of a poet to drive!

  4. Hi Laurie

    I enjoy most modes of transport.

    I love driving. 23 hours behind the wheel was my longest day, but plenty over 12 hours.
    These days I will take a 4WD as far as I can before I start walking, unless it is a golf course 😉

    Used to do a lot of off road motorcycling. Have done quite a bit of time in gliders, some parachuting, quite a bit of fixed wing time, a few hours on choppers. Have put a few thousand miles on my mountain bikes.

    In my younger days I did some quite high speed stuff on 2 and 4 wheels (over 150mph on both).
    I enjoy sailing, have done a bit of competitive sailing but these days just have a little catamaran to play with. When one is sailing the shortest (time) between two points is very rarely a straight line.

    Have a little 15 ft powerboat, and a canoe and little blowup boat big enough for 2.

    Last day of last year we did 12 hours with the Isuzu Bighorn in low ratio and covered 60 miles of back country tracks going to Palmer hut and back home again. That was a fun trip. A couple of weeks ago Ailsa and I had 5 days away from home on the West Coast, and did 20km walking one day, and 25km another day.

    So we still manage to do a bit. Ailsa just got home having walked 14km into a hut yesterday, then walked out today, then drove the 3 hours back home from the start of the track. She does more walking than me, but I probably do about 20km a week most weeks, and sometimes much more than that.

    • Ted — Holy Toledo! You’re definitely an all-things-that-move kind of guy. And I know that Ailsa is a huge fan of walking. I enjoy the photos she shares on Facebook from her “walkabouts.” 🙂

  5. I’m also a walker, if it is within walking distance and I have the time, although I particularly enjoy walking without a particular destination in mind. 🙂

  6. I like to walk four miles each day, but I probably average three. Stuart and I sort our days together on our walks. We have enjoyed travel in almost all modes over the years, starting on our honeymoon, which included car, bus, train, plane, and hitch-hiking!

  7. Walking, hands down, if I can do it fast. Strolling hurts my back. Biking would be next. I have loved to bike since childhood. It’s something I miss now, living up here in the hills. If I didn’t need a new computer soon, I’d get an ebike for sure. But I also love to drive, the sense of adventure as I set out for one of my biannual toad trips to Ohio; I tried to make each one different in some way. I love train travel too, btw. Airplane travel is in my blood, though I do hate the way they treat us. I try to not go by plane if I have any choice. You’ve got me on a roll here, Laurie. Which reminds me, I like roller skates too. Thanks

  8. I am a road trip kinda gal! We walk around the neighborhood, but my favorite ‘walk’ is when we hike around one of our favorite parks. There are as many hills in the parks as in my neighborhood, but lots more shade. Six miles a day….at least?! My hat is off to you, Laurie!

  9. I love to walk. It allows more time to observe and appreciate the surroundings.
    The phrase “shortest distance” reminds me of the quote: “You have yet to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.'” —Anthony De Mello
    Maybe that’s my preferred transportation?

  10. I don’t remember ever hearing about that air flight tid-bit … makes sense. I only had one change to fly a plane (in my teens); it was a joy. I will never forget how sensitive the controls are in a plane.

    My favorite way to get from point A to B would be kayaking. I love being deep in and at one with the water while gliding (at least in good weather) through the water. Another experience I only had once so far was hot air ballooning. I was surprised at how quiet it becomes as one goes higher but watch those landings, ouch!

    I admire all you long distance walkers. When I do walk, I prefer the early morning time period when the birds are filling the air with their diverse calls.

  11. Laurie, given a choice of being transferred from one place to another and the pleasure taken from the journey, is easy for me. I’ll take an old aluminum Jon boat anyday, cruising the coves and inlets of our rivers and lakes. Passing silently by steep banks draped in ferns, wild grapes and azaleas, you see what those who only follow the beaten path may never see. It’s a good way to travel if you have nowhere special to go and all day to get there. It’s also where the best fishing is!

  12. I used to walk everywhere when the children were little….45 minutes to tennis lessons and the 45 minutes home with tired child on my back….50 minutes to the elementary school there and back in the morning and then repeat in the afternoon. We only had one car and 6 people to get places we just walked and my husband rode his bike. Then I fell and severed the nerve in my spine….in 6 years I now walk 45 minutes (1000 steps) up and down hill with Zip. I do 2 hours on the Exercycle daily too now – I do not think I get from point to point except I listen to podcasts and love the points that journalists and professors and TED folks share!
    Straight lines…not always that fun. Have you read the book Chicago by Boyle….about a young man’s first job and he walked all over Chicago and dribbled his basketball up and down the shoreline….fun and fascinating read. Intriguing topic…think I enjoyed thinking about it too much and need to get on with the day!!! Could not respond when driving in the car to CA Home now..That was fun!

    • Patricia — Welcome back from California. I’ve not read the book Chicago by Boyle, but it sounds fascinating. I’ve just added it to my reading list. Thank you for the recommenation. Doggon that injury! I’m glad that you can still do some walking with Zip. I count that as a win! 🙂

  13. I enjoy walking and biking, and usually don’t really have a destination other than finding a bit of joy in the movement and the outdoors.

  14. I’m with you on that one Laurie . There is nothing like walking , for me it’s treat or a reward for working hard . A release of pressure. Something I do to blow the cobwebs away . When I’m sad ,angry or frustrated walking helps me brush it off . It helps with my writing stories or poems . I invent characters while walking .
    While on lockdown , up until a couple of weeks ago , we couldn’t go to the beach . So we discovered beautiful lanes to walk from home . I probably do four miles every day . Love it as you can tell ❤️

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