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Travel - The Importance of Getting Lost

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When most people travel they usually book months in advance and plan out their itinerary to the last detail. “Monday we will be here, and then Tuesday at 10 am we will catch the train there and go see XYZ.” The hotels are all set up, the rent-a-cars are booked, and the scenic tours are paid for.

I want to encourage everyone to abandon this whole schedule and routine and to get lost.

When you have everything planned out in advance you aren't traveling. You are merely going to go look at things in other countries. Traveling isn't just about seeing the sights; it's about experiencing the country with its unique cultures and customs.

It's about hanging out with the locals, trying new types of food, and exploring.

I used to plan out my trips in advance; I was the diligent little traveler until I got tired of it.

Plans in foreign countries rarely work out the way you want them to and one of the reasons I travel is to get rid of any sort of routine.

I want to explore and really get the sense of what it feels like to be in another part of the world. My solution to all of this is getting lost.

Travel Get Lost On Travel Explore Local


So what does getting lost actually mean?

I'm not saying you should just wander into a forest and run around for a few days (although that might be fun).

I'm saying you should let your travels guide you instead of you guiding your travels.

Plan for your first night or two and then see where you end up.

I spent a month in China and the only thing I had planned out was where I was going to stay for the first two nights.

Everything from then on was done on the fly. I spoke with locals that I met and they told me where I should go or what I should avoid; I then used my guidebook to read up on the places that the locals recommended (as I traveled there, most of the time on trains).

Getting lost isn't for everyone.

It takes a certain appreciation and excitement for the unknown. If you are the type of person that gets nervous or scared easily or the type of person that always has to have things planned out in advance and by schedule, then you're going to hate getting lost.

I spent four hours on top of a mountain in China trying to figure out how to get down. I was lost but saw some of the most amazing things in my life. If I had a set schedule and had to be down from that mountain by 3 pm then I would have never been able to get lost and see those amazing things. I would have also been quite upset that I was messing up my schedule.

Travel Get Lost On Travel Explore Local


So why should you even bother getting lost?

Well, if you're sightseeing then you probably shouldn't get lost. However, if you're traveling, then you should. Getting lost really lets you experience the country you are in and it changes you as a person.

Getting lost puts you far outside of your comfort zone and forces you to adapt. Getting lost means that you will see and experience unique and amazing things.

It's easy to sightsee and just go by what the travel agent recommends, but you guys are travelers, not sight seers... right?

Post by Jacob Morgan (twitter.com/jacobm)

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