Get Lost!

While perfectly executed vacations certainly have their place, everyone needs a little adventure now and then. And even though it’s always tempting to stick to tour maps, well-known museums, and restaurants with 200 Yelp ratings, we propose a challenge:

Lose your map.

It can be a daunting idea in a new city, especially if you don’t speak the native language. But the best, richest experiences always arise when you’re not looking for them. Instead of planning your day, why not walk out your door and see where it takes you? Don’t search online for your lunch spot, just follow the sights and sounds (of course, a good indicator is how many people are happily dining at any given restaurant.) Maybe while you’re polishing off dessert, you’ll meet a friendly local who’s happy to show you to their favorite corner of town, the shop where they got the first-edition book poking out of their bag, or the theater that shows old silent movies. Or maybe you’ll keep strolling and come across an outdoor performance not written down in any book.

More often than not, locals love to share their knowledge with visitors. Maybe there’s a famous gelateria that all of the tourists love because the owner speaks English, but there’s an even better, lesser-known shop right around the corner where all of the neighborhood regulars get their fix. You don’t speak the same language, but you certainly don’t need to speak Italian to point to your favorite flavor.

From there, who knows? You can be a tourist tomorrow. Today, you are a traveller.

9 Comments on “Get Lost!

  1. Great mtn. house outside of NYC, hiking, golf, need 4 days in London in Oct.

  2. Our first home exchange was in Norway. We had an address but no map. Since we had a GPS we didn’t think we needed a map…our first mistake. The neighborhood in which our home exchange was located was a true labyrinth, to say the least! We typed the home address into our GPS and it took us to the wrong midnight! To make matters worse to determine whether or not we were at the correct house we drove up in the driveway. After discovering it was not the right house we tried to turn around and our car got stuck! So my husband left me in the car while he went after help. I was paranoid that the owners of the house would call the police or come and ask me why I was in their yard! Not speaking a word of Norweigan I felt very vulnerable! When my husband finally returned with neighbors, they were able to help us get our car out but even they didn’t know where the address we were given was located!! We finally found our home exchange home but it was not an adventure I would ever want to repeat. I now print off a map of the area before I leave for a home exchange!

  3. I live in Kfar Saba, Israel, close to Tel Aviv. I am a active member of MachsomWatch – Israeli women against the checkpoints and Occupation of the Palestinian lands. We have a big flat with a small garden.There is a train and buses from Kfar Saba to Tel Aviv. Would like to exchange house with nice people in interesting places.

  4. We live in Begur, Girona a lovely small medieval town with views to the Mediterranean Sea. This in the Ampurda, a most beautiful area with lots of things to discover.

    • We live on the harbour in Auckland New Zealand. We (my wife and I would like to house swap with someone close to the Mediterranean Sea

    • Are you interested in visiting Istria, seminsula in Croatia? Have a look aat our houses on or web.
      Best regards,

  5. Venturing out in the hinterlands of any European country can be a challenge when driving a car, but a few years ago I bought a GPS unit in France. Fortunately it has every European country in it’s coverage. Before I leave my home base, I plug in the “home destination” and then head out exploring. Sometimes I just drive, turning down nameless roads and finding treasures I wouldn’t normally have known about if I followed the tried and true route. When I want to head home [not knowing where it is from the divergent path I just traveled] I hit the “home” button….and follow the GPS voice [in English of course]. So my advise….buy a GPS in Europe [or program your U.S. GPS with your destination country or countries.

  6. I have a lovely home near Denver, Colorado. Would like to exchange with person in Italy or Spain close to city with transportation or Paris.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *