Not everybody can have it together at all times. In fact, it’s more likely that you never have it together, especially in 2020. As international borders close, people are ten times more likely to get lost in their own city. Good news is, you can be totally clueless about where the fuck you are with a convincing je ne sais quoi.
As a beautiful travel writer with weak spatial memory, I’m here to help you. (Trust me—it took me two hours to find an exit out of the Medinah of Marrakech, but you wouldn’t know from my snaps of it.) Just make sure to keep the most expensive of these must-have items hidden from view and then ask yourself, “How lost am I, exactly?”
|Pen and Pencil
|Hand bag (full)
Of course, style advice will vary depending on which of the Three Degrees of lost you are.
The First Degree of Lost
If you’re lost to the First Degree, you know your destination is not far, wherever it may be. Know that it’s distasteful, above all, to actually look lost in any way. Besides looking like a stray cat, you might attract strangers who have caught on to your vulnerability. If that happens, you’ll be preyed upon or worse yet—“rescued” to a home that is likely furnished with rusty metal cupboards and musty velvet wallpaper.
To prevent this tragedy, put on a pair of sunglasses to hide your darting eyes and keep walking in whichever direction you feel best. Do not slow your pace or stop. Feign intuition with loud, rhythmic steps. Don’t rely on landmarks, as they are unidentifiable from a new angle, and your surroundings are already starting to all look the same. Fabulous.
The Second Degree of Lost
If you’re lost to the Second Degree, nothing around you seems particularly familiar or everything sort of does. No path is distinguishable as best. Find a bench or a shop window where you may linger, but never idly. Light a cigarette even if you don’t smoke. When that is done, find a new spot to shuffle through your handbag for nothing in particular. This will buy you time to question: “Where the hell am I? What time is it? What is time? What is life and why is it so annoying?” Alternate these rest stops about three or four times before asking the nearest working person for directions.
If you are in this situation, keep in mind that your style in peril. To maintain it, you are only allowed two requests for clarification. By the third “Wait, what was that?” all respect is gone. But do not fret: Simply follow as many directions as you can remember, then ask another underpaid employee for help. Repeat until you’ve arrived at your destination.
The Final Degree of Lost
The Final Degree of being lost is more of a spiritual journey in the way that your blood-sugar level is probably low and you might be slightly detached from reality. Enjoy it. But eat something. Really open your eyes to see you are in an entirely new neighborhood, with its own mysteries, its own community of potential teachers. The best way for you to work it now is to adapt the mindset of a mystic while you walk on. With your dark shades, really begin to look around you. Everything is really the same. Everything is you. And really everyone is lost.
But only you are doing it with style. ❏
Teresa Lynn Hasan-Kerr is a travel writer with an agenda to promote authentic and positive ways of navigating both the outer and inner world.
Photo by Omar Benattou