Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

It’s a cheesy line repeated time and again in Pinterest posts, Tumblr blogs and engraved permanently on tanned skin, often accompanied by compasses or inaccurately drawn maps. First and foremost, however, it was a line of poetry from the late and great Tolkien, whose works have kept my mind occupied since I read The Hobbit aged 9.

And boy, did he know what he was talking about.

Honestly, there were so many photos I could have picked from this image search. Why do people still think this is a good tattoo idea?

This week has seen a number of changes in my usual schedule. A departure of everyone on my current volunteer program other than myself (even including the project manager!) has meant that I now find myself teaching English classes, planting trees and just generally being on my own.

I’ve loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I miss Anik and Lucy and Victoria and Alicia, and I’m loving spending time with my temporary project leader Luis, but there’s nothing quite like the freedom you get to wander through the streets of a new city totally alone.

To wander; v.intr. To move about without a definite destination or purpose.

Through a gap in the roofs of some old buildings in Cusco, the sky is bright blue. A few fluffy clouds float by.
I was lucky enough that on this particular day, my wanderings were blessed with this sky.

This is all it means – one afternoon this week I let my feet take me around town without my brain engaging and directing. It doesn’t happen that often; as someone with an overactive superego I regularly find myself planning things down to the minutest of details, and it doesn’t make me happy. It seems like it takes a new city (although I’ve been here for almost five weeks, Cusco still holds many mysteries for me) to awaken my adventuring spirit and let go of what seems to me to be a punishment – routine.

It is this sort of attitude that I want to attempt to hold in my heart as I journey onwards from Cusco and head into uncharted territory. No volunteering projects, no constant people in my life, and more or less no plan is what lies ahead of me for the next three weeks.

I can’t wait.

Me, being happy in a vegan cafe (having just inhaled a vegan brownie), finishing this blog post and feeling very content with life. Also I do have eyebrows, they're just hidden under my glasses.
Me, being happy in a vegan cafe (having just inhaled a vegan brownie), finishing this blog post and feeling very content with life. Also I do have eyebrows, they’re just hidden under my glasses.

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