Why You Should Get Lost Next Time You Travel

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Why You Should Get Lost Next Time You Travel Why You Should Get Lost Next Time You Travel

Why You Should Get Lost Next Time You Travel

by Ava Joy

February 17, 2014

It took me about an hour to find his place. I parked the bike, walked up to his apartment and rang the bell. Inside were six dinner guests, each one friendly, bilingual, mostly academic artsy types. I spent close to five hours at his place that night. There was good food and wine, and some really bad eighties music, to which we all sang along. We talked about love and life and travel and politics. We argued over the impact of heavy tourism and the high cost of everything in town. No one cared where I went to school or what I did for a living. They didn’t ask who my mother was or what kind of car I drove. We were just a group of people who would meet for this one night and never see each other again. I knew it and they knew it and it didn’t matter one damn bit. I was the guest of honor at a dinner party where no one knew who I was, but we were having a good time.

I am lucky enough to have lived on, or traveled to, all continents where there are people. I have been lost a lot over the years. I can tell you that an evening with strangers can be more meaningful than a lifetime with old friends. All aspects of your life that you normally count on to relate to people mean nothing. At this party, no one cared about my job or what sports team I supported. You are on your own when you spend a night with strangers. You are a blank slate, free of judgment and free to design an entirely new you, even if it's just for a few hours. I highly recommend you get off the beaten path next time you travel, not for what you might see, but for who may find you along the way.

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