Why you should wander

One of my favorite things to do in a new place I’m visiting is get lost, and find my way back…and only use the maps function as a last resort. It’s a fantastic way to orient myself and I find all kinds of interesting things.

A few examples from Athens…

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Roman baths

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I ‘found’ this excavation sight right in the middle of a sidewalk! The archeologists’ tools are clearly visible in this picture. The only thing that would have made it cooler would have been if they were down there studying it.

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A little graffiti

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Or I’ll (very often) run into a graffiti mural. I’ve found far better displays as well, but I was too distracted with the viewing to remember my camera.

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Line of caterpillars

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Wandering through the National Gardens, I came across this line of caterpillars. Why were they all lined up? Where were they going? Is this where we humans got the idea for the conga line? Some mysteries may never be solved.

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A hill overlooking the Acropolis

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Wandering around on a hill around sunset, I found this sweet view of the Acropolis and Λυκαβηττός (Mount Lykavitos)…and a fellow lost tourist in the bottom left. It got seriously windy up there…

Or there was the time I was wondering by Πλατεία Συντάγματος (Syntagma Square), and stumbled onto a spontaneous dance party! No tour would offer me this experience.

It won’t always be what I’d consider ideal. Sometimes, I’ll run into a bit of noise and construction…or should I say, it found me. But even these times have their own charm (as long as I’m not trying to sleep). And if nothing else, at least it makes for a great story.

Obviously, there are a few times when you won’t want to go down that dark alley, but these situations are rare. So get out there, explore, find the little gems that make each place unique. Because we can’t all be partying all the time.

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