7 Ways Wandering is Like Reading a Really Good Book

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

–Harold Kushner

I have never been a huge book reader. It takes a lot for me to consider something a “good read”.  But, every once in a while, I come across something special. A book that excites me from the first page, and I can’t put it down until I’ve sucked the binding dry. I lose myself in its pages and find it hard to maneuver my way out.

For me, 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.

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 the next journey. No matter where I am or where I go, I can never be exactly sure what will come next.

2. It is a way to escape reality

Reading someone else’s story allows you to leave your world behind for a short time. 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.

3. 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 people on any given day.

4. It satisfies my senses

An exceptional read thrusts you into the scene. You feel what the character is feeling, see what the character is seeing, smell what they are smelling. For me, wandering satisfies those same senses. The alluring doughy odor of bread 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.

5. 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 always learn.

6. 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.

7. Once I start, it’s hard to stop

A good book keeps me reading because I can’t bare the suspense. I love a good cliffhanger. Wandering creates the 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 his own.


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