No one likes to get lost, that’s why we have maps, sat navs and 5 year plans. Getting lost is unnerving and frightening; it puts us face to face with the unknown, the unpredictable and unsettles us. Everyone likes to be in control and it is comfortable to always know who and where you are. The thing about getting utterly lost however is that we can learn valuable lessons and occasionally it does us some good. Getting lost can be a wonderful experience.
There are some places where it is good to get lost, the best example of this is Venice. The only way to truly experience this labyrinth is to throw your map into the Grand Canel and go for a wander. Get lost among the ancient street and find all the riches that are hidden in this city. I think to truly know the rhythm of a city you have to get lost in it. Paris will always be a mystery until you found that one cafe tucked away down a forgotten street that you and you alone adore. One of the things that is on that list of things in my head I have to do is get lost in New York just for a little bit and watch the city rush by in all its vivid colour.
There are the times you get lost by accident, lost in listening to music that sings to your heart and in art that speaks to your soul. Everyone at some point has stared into space and meander through thoughts, lost, roaming over hundreds of ideas as the world has just slipped away. You can get lost in your own excitement and interest reminding you what it is like to be truly passionate about something. Then there are moments, moments when the world stops, you become lost in an instant that lasts an age, it fills you up completely and removes you from time and space, and you vanish from the earth.
Getting lost is about gaining a new perspective, strolling off the beaten track and finding your own individual way in the world, to look through your own fresh eyes and not through the used eyes of hundreds of people before you. Getting lost means you can find something new, something unique, it’s how you find that beach with no one on it, that shop with the amazing nik naks, that place with the chef who creates the best food and that view that you don’t need a photo of because it shines brilliantly in your mind.
The really good thing about getting lost is not just losing yourself in something because of your zeal, but just losing yourself completely no matter how terrifying or daunting that is, because losing yourself means you can find yourself. How are you meant to know who you really are until you lose everything you think you are? Sometimes you simply, for the briefest of occasions, have to lose yourself and for a scary time not know who you are, to then find that fantastic thing that is the authentic you.
Maps are great and plans are excellent, the problem is they don’t help us when there is an obstacle in our way. They don’t teach us not to panic when we are lost or come up against the unexpected, that sometimes you have to embrace the unknown, navigate the unpredictable, to throw away agony and just see what is around the corner. Plans and maps don’t change but people do and it is people who have to alter the maps and the plans. If you don’t get lost once in a while how will you ever know where you really want to go?