Written by Lauren from Lauren on Location

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“I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.” –Harold Kushner

Unfortunately, I have never been a huge book reader. I have always been jealous of my friends who seemed to zoom through pages, those friends who seemed genuinely excited to conquer their next published adventure. Even though I try and I try, it takes A LOT for me to consider something a “good read.” Still, every once in a while, I come across something special. A book that entices me from the very first page, and I can’t put it down until I’ve sucked the binding dry. I effortlessly lose myself in its pages and find it delightfully difficult to maneuver my way out.

Luckily, for me, I’ve found a substitute for my lacking love of reading. Wandering provokes a similar sensation. Whether I’m in my own backyard or in a new place for the very first time, every time I wander I lose myself a little in the details.

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7 ways wandering is like reading a really good book:

  1. It is unpredictable

An extraordinary author never allows a book’s plot to reveal itself. An extraordinary wanderer never knows what he or she will find on their next journey. No matter where I am or where I go, I can never be exactly sure what will come next.

  1. It is a way to escape reality

Reading someone else’s story allows you to leave your own world behind for a quick stint. But, if I’ve had a hard day, need a break from responsibility or simply want to clear my head, wandering provides a well needed distraction. I can throw on my headphones, pick a fitting playlist and allow my mind to wander wherever my legs will take me.

  1. Oh, the people I meet

A compelling story is shaped by its characters.  In all of the places I’ve wandered, the people in those places have had some of the biggest impact. Living in a big city such as New York or Madrid exposes you to a wealth of inspiring characters on any given day.

  1. It satisfies my senses

An exceptional read thrusts you right into the scene. You feel what the character is feels, see what the character sees, smell what they smell. For me, wandering satisfies those same senses. The alluring doughy odor of baguettes fresh out of the oven as I pass a bakery; the innocent giggles of two little girls holding hands and skipping in the park. Wandering helps me get in touch with my feelings and better appreciate the lure of the world around me.

  1. When I wander, I learn

Just as a good book should leave the reader with a lesson to add to their repertoire, every time I wander, I take a little something back with me. Whether I uncover something new about where I am, someone else, or even myself, I am always learning.

  1. The thrill of the adventure

The curious reader seeks something new and exciting with the turn of every page. The curious wanderer seeks something new and exciting every time they leave their home. Wanderers allow their instincts to lead the way. When I have the time I often wander in whichever way feels right at the moment.

  1. Once I start, it’s hard to stop

A good book keeps me reading because I can’t bare the suspense. Who doesn’t love a good cliffhanger? Wandering creates this same anticipation. Each time I’m on to something good but am forced to return to the real world, I’m left wanting more.  My imagination runs wild until I am able to return and seek what lies around that next corner.

There is no doubt that reading someone else’s story can be both captivating and stimulating. Yet, the true wanderer finds it just as rewarding to set out and write their own.