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Getting Lost

For the average traveler getting lost is to be avoided at all costs.  But to a mobo, it is just the beginning.  It’s not the fact that you don’t know exactly where you are at times, or where you are going, but what you do turning these times.  So, it is best to have the right mindset before you hit the road.  To facilitate this, your traveling companions and you must be on the same page.  As easy as this sounds, it is harder when you are lost at the “wrong time.”  To the experienced digital vagabond, there are no wrong times.  But when you are hungry, tired and don’t know where the hell you are, it is the wrong time for the novice traveler.

Problem

You want to be prepared for those times when you and your travelmates are completely and irreversibly lost.  Or so it seems.

Solution

Before you even set out, sit down with your travelmates and make sure that you are all on the same page.

Steps

Whether you anticipate getting lost or not, you will — inevitably.  And it is better to be prepared for the situation.  After all, it injects a level of difficulty into the travel and increases the suspense that you will find your way.  Especially when you have foolishly made reservations for the night or have a train to catch, every minute is critical to get back on track.

So, plan for the eventuality of being clueless on the road.

  1. Sit down with your traveling companions and describe the situation where you are lost.  Pose it as a problem.  What would they do?
  2. Ask for your travelmates reaction to this hypothetical (and most probable) situation.  Listen as they express what they would do.
  3. If your travelmates immediately talk about finding their way out of the mess, acknowledge their practicality.  However, ask whether they feel any deep need to always know where they are.  For  example, if there were no real deadlines or schedules that needed to be met that day.  Would they feel the same way?
  4. For each one, ask them what they would do in the situation.  For those who describe concrete steps (using their mobile devices, for example) of finding the way back, assign them the navigator role.  For those who describe a philosophical approach, assign them the trip philosopher role.  Every trip needs one.
  5. Discuss when it is OK to be lost and when you need to get back on the right road.  The degree to which your travelmates can feel at ease being lost is a predicator for a true vagabonding experience.

Keep in mind that not everyone feels comfortable not knowing where they are.  They may feel compelled to always have their location in plan view on their device, even if this means subscribing to a roaming plan.  But as these folks settle into the travel mode, it will become less and less important to have the day planned out, and to know where they are.

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