Get lost to know the beauty of the unexplored, to know the side of you that you didn’t, to do all those things that you would otherwise never do on all those planned days.
As per Cambridge dictionary, the phrase ‘get lost’ is “used to tell someone forcefully and quite rudely to go away“. Well, we need to do that to ourselves sometimes! Getting lost is rather a good thing to happen instead of not going anywhere, trust me! If not in its true essence as one may not plan to get lost, that is exactly what we did on a few occasions to find the unknown happiness.
In this age of too many checklists, often our lives move on to-do lists. I sometimes feel helpless when I do not have a to-do list ready for certain times that I find myself free. Rather than letting thoughts go wild and creative, I tend to feel that I am wasting time and that I need to find a purpose to spend my time wisely.
I feel that many of us have become the persons who cannot function well when there is no plan. I often stumble and mumble to function properly without a proper plan.
‘Get lost’ without a plan used to be something that is hard to even imagine. Blame it on today’s lifestyle that we have more things to do than we actually can. Before developing that individual who has the ability to do certain tasks and also seeks an enjoyment out of it, we tend to increase the quantity and quality of tasks. Because of this mismatch of abilities and expectations, there is a raise in stress levels as you have not been able to meet the criteria which otherwise seem to be easily fulfilled by the herd around you. Either you end up pushing yourself too much without proper thought or give up too easily, not willing to dwell into the issue and finding a proper answer.
Hence I felt the need to get lost sometimes. Getting lost means planning for an unplanned day, even if it means going solo. Yes, we all need to have those unplanned days to get lost from the monotonous planned days with endless checklists.
This holds good for kids too. While rhythm and routine is important for kids, for them to accept a certain lifestyle and be at peace with it, a rhythm becomes too much of a routine when you are too strict about what needs to be done at what time throughout the day. There needs to be a breather – for example if there is a planned activity, it should be followed by free play time for kids where they are allowed to do what they want. It should not look like a full day at school, followed by a painting class, followed by a karate class, followed by doing home work, followed by finishing dinner quickly and sleep instantaneously – we are not machines to shutdown with a click of a button! This kind of a hard routine puts too much pressure both on kids and parents.
I am sure most of us are good planners, so we can easily plan an unplanned day. Now you might say, “hey that’s the reason why we go for vacations! to get lost from the routine.” However what we are missing here is, when you keep on planning what to do on those 3 days of precious vacation, where is the break? Because you are worried that you might miss some attraction due to lack in proper planning. There you go, a checklist for that much awaited 3 day holiday is on the way, hurray! If you feel that you are wasting time and money if the holiday is totally unplanned then again – plan for an unplanned day. But this time, within locality, within budget, within time!
Nevertheless, I am really glad that our first tryst with an unplanned day was not a planned one! We went out for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning and instead of coming back home, we went ahead on a drive. Sat on the roadside grass for a while beside a highway and then went on to watch a movie, bought new clothes for my child and got him changed into them in the trial room (as we looked like zombies right out of bed when we went for breakfast!) etc. and reached home only by dinner time. Definitely one of the silliest, yet most memorable Sundays!
Now you might think that it is pretty easy to go on such unplanned trips, but it isn’t really so! Having tasted the joy of an unplanned day, this time we planned for an unplanned day. It materialized only after 2 long years, thanks to our otherwise busy life!
Wondering how to plan an unplanned day? All you need to do is – set aside a specific time/day to be an unplanned one. If you think beyond this point, it will become a planned day like everyday.
So one fine morning we thought we will go on for a long drive and we did. After getting to the city outskirts, we just flipped the coin to decide whether to go left or right. Then we turned left, drove for a while, found some cute calves on the roadside and stopped. Chatted with the people there and my son was happy that he could pat some cows. Then we found a barren land opposite where we played badminton, while my child enjoyed himself on a saree swing tied to a tree nearby. After driving ahead for some more time we realized that we were very near to an alternative school that we love and hence stopped there to spend sometime in the natural surroundings of the campus. The unplanned trip ended with a sumptuous breakfast and south Indian filter coffee before we headed back home by noon time.
I had read up a lot about travel in Europe, much before we could book tickets. I read so much so that it appeared that I virtually lived there for a while. Ours was a long travel – one month in Europe.
Though there were tons of things to do and see on each and every day wherever we were in Europe, it did not make any sense on one fine day. We were in a 200 year old mountain chalet in Switzerland and many people would think that I was crazy to stay at home and not go out to see more places. But I realized the importance of taking a pause – no matter how slow or fast the trip is, you really need to stop and reflect at certain points. It doesn’t make sense to force yourself out when you need that little break.
So I read a book, slept for the remaining time and was ready to go out only by early evening. It was perfectly fine to have missed an otherwise active day in the mesmerizing locales of central Switzerland. And on another day, we were lucky to have experienced an unplanned day outdoors too when we went on a sudden trek – the most cherished and beautiful time of the entire trip. To see the real beauty of Switzerland, one needs to trek and there is no shortcut for it!
Need more reasons to get lost? Try hard to get lost once and you will find enough reasons and motivation to plan for more unplanned days!
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