Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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Early one Saturday morning while I stood at my kitchen sink, my hands in the hot soapy water washing a week’s worth of dishes (don’t judge me), the title of this blog popped into my head.  Not for the purpose of a title, but because I had also been watching a vlog by Chris Hau (  (Multi-tasking!).  Chris talked about the time when he was 19, landed his dream job, screwed up on the job, and was fired from said dream job.  Moral of the story was that Chris learned and grew from the experience.

Chris’s experience got me thinking about when I got laid off from an excellent job at the tender age of 45.  I was one of over a dozen long term employees to loose their jobs on September 11, 2009.

After the dust had settled and I had a chance to take stock I noticed two things had changed for me –  firstly, I wanted to simply my life (we can save that story for another blog) and my desire to wander was reborn.

Wandering Isn’t a Waste of Your Time

To me wandering is a priceless investment in happiness, peace of mind, and creativity.  Though I’m pretty sure a lot of parents have, and probably will, think that wandering is a useless indulgence, especially when they think their offspring should be at home, putting their free time to better use with things like getting homework and chores done.

Wandering Does Mean Your Feet Are Firmly Planted

And those feet are also in motion.  Frequently.  While the act of wandering doesn’t mean you’ll get to step into a different era, like Owen Wilson’s character did in the wonderful movie Midnight In Paris, it does mean you’ll stumble upon new places, meet new people, and take in fresh perspectives.

Wandering Means Different Things to Different People

I would encourage everyone to keep an open and relaxed mind when it comes to wandering.  And everyone needs to follow their hearts and their interests.

If you have a passion for art galleries, start by seeking some out, use their location as a place to start.  Once you’ve fed your souls on the artistic works, head out to wander around the neighborhoods that are homes to the galleries.

If you’re a foodie and have been promising yourself you’d try the new place your friends keep going on about,  make a reservation.  Once your meal is done, head out for a walk around the area.  You may even find yourselves discovering a new dessert shop.  And who doesn’t like dessert.

An acquaintance of mine loves to photograph architecture.  So when time permits he  grabs his camera gear and wallet and heads out the door.

I get a lot of questions about how I choose where I go.  Often it could be a current event that I’m interested in attending that will be my starting point.  A few weekends ago I wanted to see The Royal Arts of Jodhpur India exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum.

After taking in the exhibit I opted to wander around some of the museum’s permanent exhibits.  A couple of hours later I stepped out into one of the sunniest blue skies Toronto had in a long while.  Not wanting to waste the clear weather I decided to wander some of the area streets with the promise that I would try to walk along some streets that I hadn’t previously.  And that’s how I came across this house on Sultan Street.

1 Sultan Street, Toronto

Sometimes when I have the itch to wander but my brain won’t cooperate I’ll tap into the endless stream of information found on websites and local blogs.  One time after I had scrolled through Instagram I came across an account by the name of  Tom had liked one of my photos so I wanted to return the favor.  It turned out that Tom takes some fantastic shots of Toronto.  One in particular caught my eye so I sent Tom a quick note and asked where he took the shot.  He replied letting me know it was John Street, north of Queen Street.  For all the years I have lived in Toronto dare I fess up that I don’t recall ever walking north on John Street from Queen Street.

Benefits of Wandering

Two biggies that come to mind – your body gets some exercise and your mind gets to relax, freeing itself from the regular daily grind.

Instead, both your mind and body can focus on sun-bathing snowmen, wandering down quiet, tree-lined streets, gaze into shop windows, pop into independent art galleries, wander along trails, riversides, shorelines, and you can stroll across boardwalks and beaches.  You can zig and zag to your heart’s content – discovering wall art, colorful front doors, city gardens and parks.

You can turn a corner, feel your breath catch in your throat as you see a sight that has your soul whispering to you that you are standing exactly where you should be standing, right on schedule.

Wise Words

And so the saying reads – Not all who wander are lost.

I believe we are not lost at all when we wander.

Rather, I think that’s when we are found.

I think it’s the rest of the time when we are lost.







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