‘I went on my way with light step, freed from this burden; youthful desires, enchanting hopes, brilliant plans filled my soul.’ This is Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Confessions (1782), recalling his coming-of-age trip on foot across the Alps, from Geneva to Turin. Take another quote used by modern-day French philosopher Frédéric Gros in this first English translation of his 2011 manifesto on the joys of walking, this time from a work by the poet Charles Péguy. ‘We go straight forward, hands…
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