It’s not how it sounds. Having maps is a given for a planned itinerary, but this is for the time when you should ‘intentionally’ get lost on your travels. It’s a very different experience which author Gary Shteyngart describes as having “a look on your face, a humble, peaceful, dreamy, let-that-crow-fly-in-your-mouth look,” and yet it’s good that he wouldn’t have been able to write his last three novels if he hadn’t have got lost somewhere alone the line.
Although you can ditch the GPS, it’s still important to have a back-up system for your aimless wandering. You don’t know how it’ll turn out. A lot of people don’t like getting lost. Some get nervous, others frustrated, and some just snap altogether.
Keep a map within reach, either an actual physical spread out page map or an app on your smartphone or both. If you’re going to be heading to places such as rural areas though, network coverage might be at a minimal so a printed map will be your best friend out there. Thankfully, there are loads of navigation apps out there that offer offline maps so that you’re never too lost on your travels.
In urban areas on the other hand, GPS maps today have integrated additional features like public transit info and walking or cycling navigation systems. Innovations like the aforementioned have really inspired people around the world to navigate the unknown and unfamiliar, along with mobile hospitality networks and language translation apps that have increased accessibility to travel. There are even smartphone games targeted at travelers, with motifs ranging from road trip entertainment to the exploration of significant sites like the ancient tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, which has been seen on online entertainment portals that offer a wide range of themes to appeal to gamers of varying interests.
While these apps and games will fulfill your wanderlust, the key thing here is to spend less time on your phone and use your instincts to immerse yourself in a new destination. Being lost isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can work wonders, but keep a map handy at all times. Think of it as your guide to hidden treasures with a mindset like, “We can pass through here and see how it goes.” Consider it as an opportunity for adventure and not as a setback.
Getting lost once in a while when you travel can lead you to places, help you meet new people, and allow you to do things that will leave you with a more memorable trip. After all, that’s why you travel in the first place, to explore and to discover.
Mindanaoan is a multi-awarded blogger, content creator, seasoned social media strategist and publicist with undeniably successful track record. 2012 International Visitor Leadership Program (for global leaders) alumnus and O visa grantee (for people with extraordinary skills and who have risen to the top of their field). Avid traveler and a proud relief operations volunteer. Regular resource person for social media, blogging and content creation. Available for work and travel – [email protected]