Photo courtesy of mikebaird

I tied on my shoes and headed out for my morning walk.

IT WASN’T EVEN NINE in the morning and I was already drenched from the blanket of humidity that Jeju Island, Korea, had thrown on me. Still, I wasn’t going to let the heat deter me. I had finally discovered the perfect place to watch the people of the island interact with each other.

I was headed to the local park.

It was a huge park somewhere in the middle of Jeju City, with miles of tree-lined walking trails. With nothing on my schedule for the day, I wandered along, watching groups of old women in long pants and gloves speed by me. Young couples strolled at a much more casual pace, smiling and chatting with each other.

I walked for hours through that park, and I could have walked for hours more, sweat and all.

To me, it was the best walk in the world.

Or was it? Because there was that time I strolled along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on Christmas Day. There was nobody on the trail, and the view of the snow-covered canyon was stunning.

And then there’s that walk I take several times a week, through a local park where kids shriek with laughter from the playgrounds and families eat sub sandwiches from the nearby grocery store. The familiarity and comfort of that walk makes it one of my favorites as well.

All three walks are different. The question is, what defines the best walk?

Is it a walk that helps a person discover the essence of a place? What about a stroll that inspires the muse?

Just as we categorize the best bars, restaurants, and activities across the globe, we’re more than content to try to nail down everything from the best English walks for book lovers to the best walks in cities like Seattle.

There is even a website dedicated to collecting the world’s best walks and hikes, complete with assessment criteria.

But even with a grading scale, can the perfect walk for one person really be the same for everyone?

Community Connection

What do you think is the world’s best walk? What makes it so special? Share your thoughts below.

Looking for a walk to remember? Check out one of these unusual, intellectual and downright scary walking tours. If you’re feeling gutsy, try walking on fire.