This is the inspiring story by Miguel from Travelsauro about the Magic of Travel.
I’ve liked to travel for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my family would go to Andalucia for a few weeks in August and I just loved it.
Now that I’m a grown up (even though I don’t act like one), I’ve managed to fulfill my dreams and travel around the world. Being on the road for more than five years is quite an adventure, especially if you like to visit remote destinations like Papua, Senegal, Timor, Dominica, Venezuela and others.
What I like most about adventure travel is getting lost! Yes, I’m not kidding! Getting lost has brought about such amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Some were good, others not so great, but I’ve always learned something.
.I especially remember three times when getting lost resulted in very interesting experiences.
The first time was before I started my big trip. Well, I didn’t exactly get lost, but I was definitely lost in my mind.
I’d been fired from my job and I had many doubts about what to do. Yes, I wanted to travel, but I couldn’t decide. I had a girlfriend, I wanted to study languages, I wanted to visit Asia, America… too many thoughts for an unexperienced traveler.
As I was quite stuck but wanted to do something new, I decided to go to the Canary Islands, which are not that far away, and spend a few weeks woofing in a farm and relaxing. I thought it would be good to clear my mind.
One day, after doing some gardening at the farm, I spent an hour on Google and found this message in a travel forum:
“Hi guys, we are two people driving from Spain to Guinea-Bissau for the carnival. If you wanna join us and share the gas expenses, you’re welcome!”
What? That’s awesome! You see? Not planning is sometimes better. I was really lost, thinking about going to India or Cuba or wherever, and two weeks later I was going to Guinea-Bissau’s carnival!
That trip was really amazing. I met those guys in Tangier and we drove all the way down to Guinea. We enjoyed the most wonderful carnival I’ve ever seen! (And I’ve lived in Rio de Janeiro.) I’m telling you, that African carnival is crazy!
The second time I got lost I was with my good friend Jabi, who traveled with me around South America.
That time was actually potentially dangerous. We were hiking the Huayhuash circuit, which is completed in about ten days. It’s a beautiful route in the middle of the Peruvian Andes and most people do it with an agency. Carrying all your food, warm clothes and other stuff for ten days is not very pleasant, but we had experience in the mountain, so we went by ourselves, just bringing a good map.
On the third day it started snowing like crazy. We were at 4.000 meters of altitude and it was bloody foggy. We had experience reading maps, but the snow began to cover the original path, small springs created dozens of new paths and we could barely see the mountains around us. As you can guess, we got lost!
We walked and walked in the wrong direction before we realized we were really lost. The snowfall was pretty heavy and my friend began getting blue lips due to the freezing temperatures. We wanted to camp, but the terrain was too rocky and steep. ‘Oh my god, this is not good!’ I thought.
We decided to walk back and find a place to pitch the tent, protecting ourselves from that horrible weather. Miraculously, we saw recently made footprints on the snow and followed them. Finally, we saw a man. He was a local villager going home. (Yes, people live in remote villages more than 3.500 meters high.)
He showed us the right path and we got out of the snowstorm a bit later. Suddenly, the sky cleared and we saw the most beautiful valley in front of us.
That day, I felt something magical when that villager saved us. We passed from hell to heaven in a matter of minutes, and those experiences just make you feel alive.
The third time I got lost I was traveling in Papua with Adriana, a nice girl I had met in Indonesia.
We were doing the Baliem Valley trek without guides or agencies. I could speak a bit of Bahasa, so we could easily ask for directions, accommodation in local villages, food, etc. One day, I don’t know what happened, but we took the wrong path. We ended up crossing a river and were completely lost. That trek is not really high or cold, so I knew we were safe, but we were in the middle of a forest in Papua!
Suddenly, we found a small path. We followed it and saw a little village in the distance. We showed up and everyone was astonished. That village is not on the beaten path, so it looked like its residents hadn’t seen a tourist in ages. They were extremely kind and friendly, though. They let us sleep in a hut, and we shared food and smiles, talking for hours (basic conversation, of course).
The next day a few kids accompanied us to the original path and then we kept on our hike.
That was one of the most magical and memorable encounters of my live.
If you are traveling, get lost from time to time! It’s part of the adventure!
Who is Travelsauro?
Hi, I’m Miguel, adventure traveler and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last five years, always trying to explore, dive and hike some of the most remote regions of this beautiful world.
Follow my adventures on TRAVELSAURO!