Without a map.
Smartphones allow us to stay connected in every situation. May it be to communicate with family, friends or colleagues, to order a new book or to navigate around - the internet comes in handy in almost any situation one can think of. Especially the function of navigation, let’s say by Google Maps, is blessing and curse at the same time. On the one hand of course it’s convenient that you can avoid missing a meeting as Google Maps tells you not only about current traffic jams but also how to bypass them.
Google Maps ruined our possibility to get lost.
On the other hand it took away one important opportunity: Namely to get lost.
So when I’m traveling and I have enough time, I try to do the following whenever I can: On my first day in the morning I leave my hostel without neither a plan where to go nor an idea what I want to see. Of course there are usually things I already know that I want to see when I go there. But when I’m not on a tight schedule I don’t follow a list where I just cross off the sights I want to see. The idea is that when I don’t have a plan, I’m open for any opportunity that can possibly come across.
Furthermore it’s safe to say that I get to see more. Simply because as I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, I am really looking for everything. Usually when I already know where I want to go, I miss out on a lot of things on the way. I know in travel terms it’s a bit of an overused proverb, but: The journey is the destination.
Just going without a certain destination is pure freedom. And also requires to take decisions. Do I take a right or a left here? There’s nothing to expect yet so much to see. As Enter Shikari say in "The One True Color“: "There’s so much to explore, so much to absorb.“
Certainly one can also experience fantastic situations when following a map. But I can recommend to just try going without a map when given the chance.
Some of the stories I am going to tell in my blog will be about trips when I explore places without plan or map, when I got lost and found again, and when I experienced unforgettable things. I hope you enjoy my meanderings.
Are you curious now? Feeling a little adventurous and want to go out there to see something new? You don’t have to go far to experience something. Going to a place nearby that you usually don’t frequent and exploring it without using a map could be an option. Keep in mind that you can go as far as you want, because as a backup-plan you can always use your smartphone.
Or maybe that’s your usual way to explore new places? What experiences have you made going without a map?