“Getting lost is not a waste of time” – Jack Johnson
Sometimes I feel lost. I know, we all do once in a while, and it might not be a bad thing. The thing is, I like to be in control. If I am not in control, I tend to feel lost. Life happens to have a lot of situations where I am not in control.
In fact, sometimes I think I am fooling myself, and am not in control of anything. And on the rare occasion I am, I start doubting myself.
That’s right, the rare few things I have control over, I am unsure about.
For one, travelling. I have clearly chosen to live the unconventional life. And that makes me doubt. Should I have finished my studies, got a job, earned a reasonable income and bought a house? It’s good to ask yourself questions, but not to stick into the what ifs.
Asking myself this question, almost makes me laugh. No, I should not have. Looking back at my 22 year old, narrow-minded, arrogant self, I have no desire to go back there. As crappy as some of the travel conditions may have been, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Not the experience, nor the person I have become.
It’s been four years since I left my hometown. I left with great anxieties and fears of getting lost. And in this context I mean, literally, lost. It might be hard to understand just how bad my navigation actually is. But let me try and explain it, by telling you that as a child I would get lost on the way back from the supermarket.
As an 18 year old, I had to call up my sister in tears, and ask her how I could get to the cinema on my bike. Friends have had to call me, seeing me leaving their house, as I turned the exact opposite way I should have.
Working as a waitress, people would ask me how to get to places in my hometown. With red cheeks I’d have to admit I knew the place, but was unable to explain the way there.
My mum taught me to get points of recognition, so I wouldn’t lose my way. I had to learn the hard way, you should never look at cars, as they tend to move around.. Google maps is my lifesaver, and even though I’ve gotten a little bit better, panic starts to rise when my phone is out of battery.
So you can imagine just how anxious I was, even to have to go to airports by myself. I would have a 10 hour layover in Dubai, and my colleague and I joked about how I shouldn’t go out of the airport in that time.
I would most probably end up somewhere on a camel in the desert, while the air hostess would be calling out my name for final boarding.
Miraculously it all went well, and I found my way. I find it laughable now that I used to be so overwhelmed by big stations or airports.
I might be anxious and bad at directions; I do have my willpower and stubbornness. If I want something, I do it. I won’t let anything get in the way of what I want. Not other people’s opinions, nor my fears.
Looking back at these four years, I have been lost many times. Sometimes literally, and sometimes in a matter of speaking. But most of these little ‘lost’ adventures, have brought me to better times.
Cycling around in the rain for hours, finding beautiful hidden gems I would’ve never come across, or finding my way back to myself. For once, turn left, where you’ve always turned right before.