If you read today’s story about the six best cities to get lost in, you can understand why we feel nostalgic for a time when getting lost was a customary part of any travel experience.
Now-a-days, we arm ourselves with an arsenal of
navigational tools to prevent doing just that. Between cell phones, smart
phones, the Internet, GPS, guidebooks and maps, we have no trouble choosing
where we want to go, figuring out how to get there and staying connected the
entire time. But what’s the fun in that?
Travel is about exploration, and some of the most
fulfilling exploration happens when we lose ourselves -- in a place, in a culture
or in an experience. Since getting lost takes a bit of effort in this day and
age, here are 10 tips for losing yourself in your next vacation. For all of the
below, keep the address of your hotel in your pocket, just in case. If you
start to feel uneasy, remember: 10 years ago, there was no such thing as an
iPhone; 15 years ago, there was no such thing as Google.
your phone at the hotel.
all your other stuff there, too. That’s the advice of travel writer Matt Gross,
who writes the “Getting
Lost” series for the New York Times. “When you show up in a
new place”, he told the
Huffington Post, “head for a big train or bus station and stow your
bags in a locker, so you'll be free to roam without worrying about schlepping
all your [stuff] around.”
attention to what’s around you, not where you’re going.
street signs and landmarks.
a compass instead of a map.
6. Ask the locals. It beats consulting guidebooks any day
when it comes to finding a cool music venue, a kitschy café or a pick-up soccer
on the metro or a bus and ride it till the end of the line. Get out and explore
where you are.
a neighbourhood you want to see before leaving the hotel. Then try to find it
without using any navigational
9. Get on a rooftop with a good view of the city. Look
far off into the distance and pick out a building, park or anything else appealing.
Go downstairs and try to make your way over there.
you’re ready to be found, just ask for directions. People
are almost always more willing to help than you expect them to be.
Some of the greatest travel stories come from getting
lost, or losing yourself, in a new place We want to read these stories. Tell us
how you lost your way and why it was worth it using the hashtag #gettinglost on
Twitter, or tell us your tale by
commenting on Facebook. We’ll
publish the best responses in an upcoming Travelwise column.
is a BBC Travel column that goes behind the travel stories to answer common
questions, satisfy uncommon curiosities and uncover some of the mystery
surrounding travel. If you have a burning travel question, contact Travelwise.