When I got to France, I decided to do something new on a daily basis. I created mini adventures by getting lost on purpose at least once in a new city. While I knew the general area in which I would be in, the rest was a mystery, but it truly led me to some of the most cherished moments I had during my time in Europe. As you all have read, some people plan every detail of their trip. I am not that traveler. My Day Designer gives me my daily rundown at work and when I am on a trip, I aim to do the complete opposite while getting lost and carried away with the environment in which I am in.
Let's talk about why you need to get lost.
1. You will discover treasures you did not know existed.
I love street art. I visit cities with great street art on purpose because it's my passion that I wish I had a talent to recreate. While I went on some street art tours during my trip, I love when I would stumble upon art that I did not know I needed to see. Yes, that awesome restaurant you stalked on Yelp sounds great, but there is nothing like finding a quaint restaurant tucked off in the corner full of locals. I'm about the overall experience of my trips and there are simply some things money can't buy.
2. You learn the city better.
I think walking in a city and using its public transportation is the best way to quickly get to know a city. When you are in an Uber or a taxi, you are not paying too much attention to what is going around you (if we are being real). You may check the fare occasionally, but more often than not, you're in your phone, listening to music, and waiting to get to your destination. When you are lost, your senses are heightened and you pay more attention to street signs or the local corner store that was directly across from your hostel. When you have landmarks to rely on, you will feel more comfortable when you encounter that space again later throughout your trip.
Related post: 5 Apps I Couldn't Live Without While In Europe
3. You finally get to practice your foreign language skills.
While I was in France, I was a bit disappointed at the lack of French I got to speak. I definitely had to use my French more in Lyon, but in Paris, upon the hearing of my accent, people would switch to English. It was really only on my date with a local that I got to practice (and realize how rusty I got), lol.
4. You get to see how smart you are.
Whether you get lost on purpose / accidentally, you are eventually going to have to find your way back to your destination. This is when you are going to have to apply critical thinking and street smarts. You learn your triggers and how you react under pressure. I found it interesting how I would react to stress abroad versus in my day to day life. Usually, I had a go with the flow attitude, and while I would like to maintain that approach in my "real" life, that does not always happen.
Related post: What I Learned From Handling a Crisis (or 3) Overseas
5. Spontaneity on vacation is always a great idea.
At the end of the day, you are on vacation and need to spend some time getting loose. You make some of your best memories when you least expect it, and you will be able to have quality time bonding with yourself, your travel partner / bae, and the environment in which you are in. What is the point in being constricted time wise? I am not on that wave yet (probably why I haven't tried a cruise yet), Spend some time seeing the world with new eyes and get lost!
Have you ever gotten lost while on an adventure abroad? Was it purposefully or you truly had no idea where you were? What feelings were you going through? Let's chat!