I have always been clumsy to infernally bad at reading maps, and orientation in general- it took me a year or so to get proficient at navigating the Blaha square underpass, and, occasionally, after 13 years of living in Budapest I can still waver for a few seconds when in the middle of it, not being quite sure of where to go.
Taking this into account, my heart was greatly warmed recently when reading an article about the exquisite pleasures of getting lost. Hell yes, this is an art I can perfect to sublime heights. And yes, it is an art that speaks to me. In today’s world, where anything someone finds worth to be seen can easily become a tourist trap, getting lost might be the only way to discover what lies beyond the surface of things.
So I am not flustered anymore if I set out on a trip without a map or definite purpose. The road will ultimately lead somewhere and I might just bump into the unexpected on the way. Like crows stealing cherries and swallows nesting under the eaves, reminding me of my childhood when we had a swallow family returning yearly to our terrace. Or three seas in two days, including my “pet sea”, the Marmara, on account of its lovely alliterating name in Romanian (Marea Marmara). And sleepy villages that transported me back to my childhood as well, as the North-Western corner of Turkey looks positively like some parts of Transylvania, minus the church, plus the mosque.
And, in good Top Gear fashion, I got to be the first person at the Dupnisa caves who did not want to be there. Especially given the bats inside. And the mud, which was unfriendly to my sandals. So yes, not knowing you’re going somewhere might have the side effect of not being dressed for the occasion, but the benefits of the project outweigh its’ downsides, I would say.