.. and thoroughly enjoyed it.
In this ultra-connected era, it seems like getting lost is a thing of the distant past. Before we go on trips, we read up extensively on the travel destinations, research keenly how pre-paid data simcards can be purchased and used in other cities, save offline Google Maps, print directions. We know exactly where we want to go, and how to get there.
We get ready, and our preparations will never fail us.
It was a good 8 years ago when I was to go on my virgin trip to the wondrous Europe.
Somewhere among the travel books I’d read up prior, one of things to do in Venice, is to get lost among the winding lanes and alleys of Venice. After we’d ooh-ed and aah-ed enough at the crowds and number of pigeons at St Mark’s Square, inhaled deeply enough to remember the smells of the Grand Canal, took photos at Caffè Florian (the oldest cafe in Europe in continuous operation), went to all the tourist spots, we finally set out to Get Lost. Back then, we didn’t have 3G nor physical maps — only the inborn curiosity of our traveller’s mind to explore the place as it is.
It was a short experience of Being Lost, but brings back fond memories for long. The back alleys and residential areas of Venice were filled with colored, painted walls and tight little lanes of brick surfaces where your arms will not be able to stretch out fully end-to-end. We were in places unknown to the main touristy crowds. The afternoon sun was shining, the residents’ laundry hanging above our heads. We took a few photos, remembering to contain our glee at a respectful volume. We were lost in the sense that we didn’t have the exact information of where we are, but not ultimately “lost” such that we were helpless in finding our way back. Afterwards, we still headed back for a gondola ride as navigated by the ever-charming Italian sailor.
It had been such a great feeling and so much fun. I can’t wait to get lost in many other cities I’ve never been.
Every now and then, head out and explore new paths. Disconnect the 3G and away from the social media platforms. Discard familiarity for a little while, open up the mind to being receptive of new discoveries and routes. Along the way, notice how the journey bring new forms of delight.
Exploring new paths also jolts our sense of awareness, hones our decision-making skills, and breaks up the mundanities of everyday life.