I remember, when I was younger and had more time to spend with the Nintendo, that I thought the next great frontier in gaming would be free-roaming, trail-blazing, CYOA-style epics. I remember wanting so badly to get off that single, fixed path, jump over that dumb hedgerow that you could obviously just hop over in real life, collect the flaming slingshot and smoke the Boss on Level 3.
Having been a kid of the suburbs, where exploration is discouraged by ticky tacky homeowners, commercial plots stretch for miles and where any land worth discovering is already built up by developers, I realized that my start at college meant I was heading into a realm of diminished boundaries. Ann Arbor is by no means a big city in terms of size, but its population brings a global flare and the amount of interstitial space is incredible, especially on campus. Acres of lawn, cross-cut by intersecting sidewalks, meant options, and the assembly of Frisbeers, tanners, and falun gongers affirmed that the "Keep Off the Grass" placards had no place. The sidewalks were suggestions and I took the green route.
There are so many A--->B options in this world that it almost seems shameful to stay on the concrete when there's so much earth to use. Granted, there are limitations -- time, footwear, unscalable faces, etc. I won't even pretend that a sidewalk isn't sometimes the most efficient of comfortable way to go. The unbeaten path isn't for some, but I like it.
Think about it: when you're on the sidewalk, you're walking for The Man.