If we’ve been friends for more than two weeks or you’re a family member, the title of this blog post comes of little to no surprise. As fact would have it, I was born with a somewhat unfortunate sense of direction. While this lack of geography has been referenced in previous posts, this one serves to offer a new perspective: the wonder of wandering.
You see, when Rich and I head downtown or gallivant to a new city/town/municipality, we rarely consult a map of any kind. Of course in Florence it doesn’t matter so much as we’ve lived here long enough that even if a street doesn’t look familiar, the gelato shop on the corner of it probably does.
And because Florence is about 4 miles wide.
But we’ve come to discover that one doesn’t really need a map to get around a new place. Instead, what you really need is a small bucket of patience and a whole lot of time. And maybe some snacks. And a bit of water. And an umbrella if it’s raining.
I think the feeling of “being lost” often evokes negative emotions like anxiety, fear and maybe even a hint of paranoia. But, after living abroad for a bit of time, I’ve come to realize that being lost is some kind of special luxury. The thought of not needing to know where you’re going because you have the morning/afternoon/day to get there. The sense that you’re safe in a city and so the internal sense of obligation to reach a destination is quieted. The enjoyment of discovering some crazy cool things because you chose a street that looked like it might possibly be interesting from the corner. And the knowledge that even if you did have a map, there’s no way it could possibly include the 8,000 alleyways the Florentines call “streets.”
So, my friends and family, this weekend, I encourage you to invoke a bit of the wonder of wandering. Discover some new streets, find some tasty treats or maybe just curate a smidge of curiosity.
Unless it’s snowing. Or pouring rain. Or flipping freezing. Then maybe save the wondering and wandering for a better day so as to be able to properly enjoy it.
Cheers to being positively lost,