I guess it's time to try my hand at reviving a 7-year-old topic. I know I've seen this one before, but somehow I resisted the urge to blab about my roaming habits the first time around.
When I was 7 and my brother was 5, we started riding our bikes to the store, only a mile away, to pay the rent. The landlady owned the store. I'm surprised we never tried to spend the $200 on candy and pop. I got a county map, and started highlighting each new road as I explored it on my bike. I still have that map, and about 100 square miles, as the crow flies, are entirely covered, with a few fingers extending beyond this block in several directions. This represents roughly 80 miles of roads. Looking at the map now, I'm also guessing on the rest of these distances. On foot we regularly traveled more than 5 miles from the house. I remember finding a big pool of water, the biggest in our little creek, for the first time. We were very excited, and led our little sister, probably 4 or 5 at the time, the two miles downstream to splash around in it.
Every now and then, in the middle of the night, dad would wake us up and say, "let's take a walk." We would wander through the woods for hours on bright winter nights, without any lights, sometimes stopping to build a little fire. This led, as I got a little older, to my taking walks alone almost every night. Sometimes I would walk until I was too sleepy to walk home, and would sleep on the ground for a while. I'm very thankful that my parents, raising us in the 90's, weren't obsessed with knowing our every action, didn't provide us with television or video games, didn't try to scare us away from the woods and roads with dramatic stories of kidnap and slaughter. They weren't careless, they were brilliant.
All of this constant walking growing up is the reason that I struggle with the tresspassing issue now. I've been used to going wherever I wanted. No one ever complained, probably because no one ever knew we were out there. Things have changed so much in my tiny life that I'm having trouble adjusting. Parcels are much smaller than they used to be, and more closely monitored by owners who are much more possessive/protective/likely to be idiots. It doesn't help that I'm not a little kid any more. Playing in the woods might still be ok when you're 10, but an adult in the woods must be up to something. Then again, a kid in the woods, 5 miles from home... these days someone would probably call the cops on his parents.