In my present job, I'm essentially responsible for turning (usually large amounts of) paper into digital stuff (databases, images, searchable PDFs, etc.). So I'm in the office a lot. The desire to get out and explore can be pretty intense.
My last job had me traveling around Mississippi a great deal, but seldom with any meaningful time to explore at a leisurely pace. I drove around working on computer networks, always spotting places I'd like to check out by bicycle, canoe, on foot, etc. I filled countless hours behind the wheel with Pimsleur Spanish CDs (which really do work, to my astonishment and pleasure) and daydreams of coming back and seeing more.
One of my absolute favorite ways to explore is by bike (not motorcycle, although that's also cool). When I'm cruising on my bike, I can look at exactly the same things I'd see from through a vehicle window, but I see so much *more*.
Bicycling is slower, and slower is simply better. Details aren't lost in a blur.
Sound and scent aren't blocked by the noise & fumes of internal combustion engines and sealed windows.
It's also not passive, like driving or riding. On my bike, I move myself with only the mechanical assistance of the ol' Trek.
Don't get me wrong, now. I'm not fanatically against cars. My faithful Sentra serves me pretty well and even carries my bike to places I'd like to get to know better.
It's not that cars are inherently bad, but that foot on pedal or oars in water are just that great.