I know many people who don’t like to be lost. This brings lots of fears from the past (sure, as a psychologist I do have to mention that), anxiety, frustration, anger… all these emotions are not positive and not at all therapeutic. You find yourself in the middle of the city, or woods or wherever you are, not knowing where to go or what to do, trying to use your skills or lack of them to find your way back to the safe place.
I like to be lost, though. It’s better to be prepared for that, but I prefer this way to learn about the local life of a place I am in, to see something that you’d never see if you asked Google to help you plan your trip.
I’ve been lost in Paris, Stockholm, Moscow (a bit more difficult for me as I am local, but still possible), and yesterday I got lost in London. This was not a prepared. I was returning from a grocery shopping with two big bags of food and turned to the wrong street. This turn cost me another 1 hour of wandering around the South West area of London! Though, the weather was nice – surprise! The area is even nicer as, apparently, it’s a wealthy region of London with clean and rich-looking houses, big windows without curtains, huge cars parked along the street and beautiful gardens around.
It was very curious to see the everyday life of local people (well, yes, I am not sure if they are actually local, but they live here). It looks so relaxed after work, so homie, so clean, so British. Somehow, I am starting to like this city again.
I’ve been longing to visit London since I was a child. Something was captivating my mind, I was curious to see the real London. Last year I came here for the first time and London welcomed me with a stereotypical British coldness. Everything bad that could have happened… happened. That trip was also remembered as the first time ever when I lost the plane because we were late to the airport due to the traffic jam on the highway. Even though we brought a good weather with the sun to the October in London, I don’t have much of good memories from it.
Now, I am sitting in the London’s apartment, looking outside to the rainy courtyard, getting ready for the whole day of meetings, and it makes me smile. I do like London, that love that I had didn’t leave me. It grew bigger. Yesterday I brought a good weather from Portugal again. It was a rare day of sun and warmth. The taxi driver couldn’t stop thanking me for that. I do like British people, British sarcastic humor, British writers, culture, architecture, even all the events that usually accompany my trips to the UK, – they are the part of this city for me now.
When I was lost yesterday, I felt safe. I knew nothing would happen to me so I allowed myself to wander around, to check the places, the gardens, to feel the smell of the city. Our smell receptors are the most powerful and the smell memory is the best one. We always remember the smell, so be careful with this sense. Being lost doesn’t mean you are vulnerable. I think being lost is letting go, allowing yourself to go with a flow. It doesn’t mean losing control, it means refocusing. We can’t control everything, but we can control how we react to the situations.
Don’t be afraid of being lost. This can bring you lots of discoveries and new emotions that you’d never find otherwise.