As much as the trail beckons, most of the time I can't go traipsing through the woods. I have a day job and bills and some responsibilities (though I try to keep those to a minimum). However, none of these curb my urge to explore, and suppressing my need for Nature just makes me more restless. And so when I'm unbearably restless, I run.
I've always been a casual runner. I ran in high school to train for soccer in the off season, and in college I ran to de-stress. I approach neighborhoods, bike trails, and urban nature parks much like hiking trails: slow, moseying, and watchful. In college I got into the habit of running through places I've never been - historic neighborhoods and winding park paths. I would imagine what sort of people lived in the large homes I passed. Maybe they were professors or lawyers or artists. I wondered how they lived and decorated their houses and if I ever saw them around town.
I used to run so long that I would get lost, and in the long ago time before smartphones I'd call up my friends (hoping they'd answer), give them the closest intersection I could see, and beg them to navigate me back to familiar territory.
I don't get lost so frequently now, but when I do there is still that thrill of discovering something new. It eases my restlessness in the littlest way, and eats away at the constant ache of wanderlust.