The Art of Getting Lost

During my backpacking trip in Europe, we spent time in 24 different cities. In each new city we visited we had a ritual.

We put away any maps, brochures, or travel guides - all of it.

And we got lost.

We wondered the city streets and took turns picking which street to turn on, generally based on whether or not it looked exciting or mysterious. The results led us to hole-in-the-wall shops with neat knick-knacks and funny smells. It led us to ornate cathedrals and national monuments. It helped us find the secret places that only the locals knew about. It led us down winding back alleys and through tunnels barely high enough for us to stand up in. It helped us enjoy the city's vibe and not move to quickly to get to the next item on our agenda. It helped us be in the moment.

It was only at the end of the day when we would pull out our maps and try to find out how to get back to our beds.

Sometimes, getting lost reveals the most beautiful secrets.