The Art of Getting Lost

There are many ways one can be lost, we can be lost physically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally… The list is endless. But I’m going to refer to only one kind of being lost. The kind when you take a wrong turn and you are somewhere you did not expect to be.  The kind of lost that can set you up for an adventure if you are willing.

In my day I have been lost many times. A few times as a child and yes that was frightening. But since I’m talking to you now, it all worked out. As a young adult I discovered I was directionally challenged. I was notorious for getting lost 10 feet from where I was expected to be. And I loved it! OK I’m gonna tell you a guilty pleasure here that you cannot tell anyone.  It is somewhat titillating to know that there are a group of men, mostly, looking for you. Yes, there is an embarrassment factor, I will not lie. But it was kind of nice in a ‘White Knight comes to the rescue’ kind of way. I did not tell them that! No, I did not do it on purpose! For shame!

Let me explain.  Many years ago, I was going to play War Games with a group of friends. As so often happens they were short a member and desperate, so I said yes. I never said I was bright. When we got to the place to play, the other group hadn’t shown up so the owners agreed to make up a team. Bunch of city slickers playing professionals… Yeah that’s gonna work well! We didn’t win a single game but I did manage to shoot one guy with a paint gun.  He looked surprised.  And then of course the inevitable happened. We heard the horn that signalled the game had ended (they got our flag) so we all started back to the main gate house. I got separated. Now in my defence it was a great big bloody area! They were acres and acres of forest land and fields. I might be able to able to start a fire with two sticks but I could not make my way back.

It was a beautiful day; the sun was shining and I was in no distress. I knew they would find me. They had to. Just think what their brochure would say if they didn’t. “Crazy woman wandering our fields please return if found”.  I’m pretty sure I was not the only one they ever had to go and rescue, so I smiled demurely and thanked them. It was fun!

On a nice fall day, I used to leave work and go in the opposite direction from home. Then I would see a street and take it and then I’d see another road and take that. I intentionally got lost. I had a full tank of gas, a credit card and my camera. I got to see fields and animals and creeks that I would not have seen had I stuck to my routines. Getting lost can be an adventure.

Maybe we all need to get a little lost, to get out of routines, our heads, our comfort zones so that we can truly feel alive.

 

 

48 thoughts on “The Art of Getting Lost

  1. Murphy’s Law

    I get lost in my driveway! I have absolutely no sense of direction. Taking a wrong turn or exit terrifies me. Reading your post today has given me a whole new outlook on taking the road less traveled! I need to start thinking that I’m on an adventure that very well may turn out to be fun.

    And yes, any time I was lost it didn’t turn out to be the end of the world. I guess that old saying is true….nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Ginger

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    1. quiall Post author

      I have a fabulous sense of direction, it’s just not the right sense. It is whimsical and a tiny bit maniacal. I guess that’s why we get along so well. Ha ha!

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    1. quiall Post author

      I have never heard of that! And with the exception of the math, at which I am appalling, I don’t think I suffer severely with anything. OK yes the directions part I am iffy but I see it as an excuse for an adventure.

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  2. dweezer19

    Oh yes, adventure, feeling a bit lost and being rescued are all classic fantasies. When I was a kid I had a boyfriend (the preacher’s son) who I spent many Saturdays with. We played board games, planted things, fished for crawdads in the canal, hunted for four leaf clovers, jumped from the clothesline poles and one of our favorite games was rescue me. We’d pretend some bad guys kidnapped me and I hid in the yard shrubs. He would come and rescue me. Ladies, if only we knew how much it needs to go the other way in reality. Still, fun times. He even taught me how to crochet!

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  3. Dale

    My husband hated getting lost. He’d break out into a sweat and would freak out. I always tried to tell him it was an adventure. Never did manage to sell him on that one. I went for a solo weekend once and, upon my return, I asked him: Guess what I did? At his response, I said: I took a road I had no idea where it led… He grimaced at me and I laughed. Was a lovely road, by the way!

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  4. Sorryless

    I think this kind of thing awakens the child in us. Check that, I KNOW it does. And its importance cannot be emphasized enough. We need that in our adult lives. What I’ll do sometimes is ignore what time it is. Remember when days would seemingly last forever when we were kids? That’s because we didn’t dwell on the time.

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  5. K.L. Hale

    I enjoyed this post, Pam. I’m so glad you were found and what an adventure!!! I can relate to you and so many others here in this thread. My oldest son has no sense of direction. Shortly after my TBI I went the wrong direction (some say I was lost but I just went the wrong way ;-). Getting lost, at times, is fun! There have been times it’s no fun. When I joined my ladies hiking group down in AR 20 years ago it was good that we started geocaching, making sure we used our physical maps, and learned other ways to navigate in the woods (I don’t have a satellite GPS). Now taking different routes doesn’t bother me. Like you, I enjoy it. When I did my solo journey with my pup in my Subie in ’08 I took out with just Google, my atlas (which I LOVE maps and atlas’s) and a child-like attitude. Thank you for inspiring us, Pam!

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  6. bikerchick57

    I’m glad you find enjoyment in “getting lost,” Pam. I can’t join you in that club, especially after my brother and I got lost on a Colorado mountainside. I love exploring new places as long as I know where I’m at and how to get back to the starting point – a different sense of adventure, I suppose. 😉

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    1. quiall Post author

      Anyone that has experienced the horror of actually being lost can never find fun in it. I have never had to deal what you did and I am so sorry that you had to. All I can hope is that you are stronger for having gone through that trauma. And I in no way wish to minimize it! I am always safe when I get “lost”.

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  7. rangewriter

    Great story. Indeed, I love getting in my car and just going…I usually start with a vague idea of a direction or region to explore, but once I get on the back roads I love taking whichever little roads or 2-lane tracks that look interesting. However, getting lost out west is not advisable, so I always have a map handy and I have a pretty strong sense of direction. I may be meandering, but I’m not really lost.

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  8. Dan Antion

    I’m not sure how/why I missed this, Pam, but I love it. I have been lost many times. I always managed to get home again (or wherever it was I was going). After a brief period to de-stress, I always found some benefit in having gotten lost. I am now picturing you grinning at your paint-smeared opponent.

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