Is getting lost necessarily a bad thing?
Picture this: you have missed the last train or bus and you can’t find a taxi. So you start walking back to your hotel or B&B. You thought you knew the way, or at least the general direction, but…
Don’t imagine any further. We won’t bring the rain or darkness into the scene. Too dramatic!
Yet I have had very stimulating experiences after getting lost in in different countries. In Kyoto, I could not find a specific temple or whatever it was I was trying to visit and, yes, the rain bucketed down. I sheltered in a very small restaurant.
Neither the waitress nor the chef could not speak the slightest whiff of English, so pointing was my communication method. They were incredibly patient.
I was the only customer, which is usually a warning not to eat there, however the restaurant was a memorable experience for me and maybe for them. I felt that I was the first non-Japanese to eat there.
Far from suggesting that it is a good idea to get lost on purpose, can I suggest that good and surprising things can happen when you are lost in a foreign country. Might I also suggest that the experience of getting lost will not happen on a tourbus or on any type of organised tour.
Let’s face it. People go on a tour bus in order not to get lost! NOT to have language issues. NOT to feel out of their comfort zone.
But there is a trade off.
They may lose the possibility of serendipity which is to me the greatest joy of travel.
You probably have similar stories of being lost, feeling a spot of regret and desperation. I would love to hear your experiences of the emotional turnaround when you realise that you are glad that you were lost.
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