Looking at my passport, I notice something: These days, when I travel, it's almost always out of the country.

North America doesn't do that much for me. I don't care for what was once quaintly called "motoring" -- motorcars, motorcycles, motor homes, motor inns. Which is pretty much what travel around a big continent requires. I like older & more walkable places, cities where people come together, manage to live together in closer quarters than otherwise.

This preference poses certain problems when traveling with a child. It's not like we can just buckle her into her car seat and drive off. Jane and I spent some time in Paris learning about how to walk. There's lots to learn: how to use a map, how to move in crowds, how to walk at night. Through it all a larger lesson: how to be with other people. Learning to walk in cities is a way to learn about how to participate in civic life, how to recognize and inhabit shared space.

Tonight at the grocery store: "What's the most important thing to do when you travel, Jane?"