Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Lost Art of Getting Lost....

   David Chemin is a talented and prolific photographer and writer.  His website is filled with wonderful resources for those wishing to perfect their technical skills.  But it was his story on Maptia recently that really caught my attention.

To be lost, and 
surrender to that, is
to stop talking long
enough to listen
to a place.

      Ever since the invention of GPS, the art and craft of getting lost has been forgotten.  Everyone wants, no needs, to know where they are at every second of every day.  For me, all the best discoveries I've made during my travels have happened when I strayed off the path and gotten lost.  But getting truly and magnificently lost is an art that few people have acquired.

How to perfect the art of getting lost:
  • Practice close to home.  Begin by trying a new way home from work or school or drive down a road you've never ventured down before.
  • Share the experience with someone; make it an adventure.
  • Stop frequently to take in the location; this isn't a race! 
  • Find one special thing along the way that you wouldn't have seen had you not gotten "lost".
  • Make finding your way home a challenge.  Get out your map and try your orienteering skills, you might discover new places along the road home.
     Once you have a few adventures under your belt you will feel more confident that being lost is really a wonderful thing and you will be more likely to allow yourself the experience from time to time.  One wonderful place to practice is on a small island.  You can only go so far and when you get to the waters edge, turn around!

   By all means, safety first!  Tell someone what you are doing and the general direction you are heading, when you expect to return.  take along your cell phone with a GPS app.  Check the weather and bring snacks and water.  Give yourself plenty of daylight time to accomplish your journey.  Be sensible in your choice of locations to get lost in.  A National Forest with no trails probably isn't a good choice.  Neither is a dangerous part of large city.  Common sense is always best.

It's enough to know where I am.
  In this moment.

   Here is a link to David's story on Maptia...

   And a final link.  Thank you to Kim Manley Ort for turning me on to this wonderful Ted Talk feature with Daniele Quercia.  The last line is appropriate to this discussion about letting yourself get lost from time to time..."If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine.  It's deadly."

"Happy Maps"


kimmanleyort said...

What a great piece by David duChemin. I like how he talked about getting lost makes us have to "listen" to the landscape. And, the value of curiosity.

Patricia Turner said...

And thank you for that wonderful TED piece! I discovered that right after I wrote this post...pure synchronicity - again!