Throw Away the Map and just GO!1/17/2010
I arrived in Seville, Spain today.
Sick, cold, tired, hungry, and frustrated are a few of the mild adjectives I’d use to describe my state of mind at the time. Excited, maybe a little, but my mind and body ached.
I had planned on staying in a hostel but LIFE had a different plan. I booked a hostel the night before but couldnt remember which one it was. I speak very little Spanish and taxi cab drivers here speak no English. It was quite the amusing scene. Picture about Spanish 10 taxi cab drivers huddled around me at the train station trying to figure out where I wanted to go.
I could not explain in Spanish that I didn’t have a place to stay and wanted to go to the city center! Finally one of the taxi drivers understood just enough English to tell my driver what I wanted.
My plan was to find a Starbucks, access the Internet, and locate my hostel information. However, when I arrived at Starbucks in downtown Seville, the wifi was not working. I then realized that this hostel would not be in my travel plans.
I decided to wander around the city center and book the first hotel I see. I landed at a hotel named Hotel Derby. So far the hotel is nice and the wifi is working great. I almost forgot what a little bit of peace time feels like after staying in hostels my whole trip.
After taking about a 3 hour nap, I decided to go and explore the city center for a bit.
And now to the title of my post.
Maps have been driving me crazy since I arrived in Europe. Im sure the map is almost always right but I never seem to be able to read them correctly. Object A is only a few streets over from Object B. Here is street X. Why isnt this street on my map!
Just a short sample of a rather common problem I’ve been having.
Wandering through Seville, I attempted to find points of interest using the map. That didn’t work well at all. I could not find my sense of direction as everything was so foreign to me.
After about 30 minutes I threw the map away and made the decision to wander the streets /w no direction and see what I could find.
That was by far the best decision I made all day!
I wandered around aimlessly, stumbling into beautiful churches, residential areas, parks, monuments and many other attractions.
My goal was to walk all day and see if I could make it back to my hotel with no outside help. I wanted to do all this without taking the same route back in the dark.
After about 3 hours I accomplished my goal. Made it back safe and sound with an amazing adventure.
I believe much of my travels is related to getting over fears. Everyday I have been out here I have done something I’ve never done before. While maps are very useful, especially if you have a certain time you need to be somewhere, they can be a crutch as well. They are limited to what is on that piece of paper.
I say throw away the map, forget about time, and see for yourself what all is out there.