I love exploring. Wandering through a city. Winding my way around walking trails. Peeking into out-of-the-way spaces.
In some sense, I explore just because I’m curious about places. The way an engineer might want to take apart an electronic device, I like to take apart a city. I like to see how residential neighborhoods are joined together, how they meld with the city center, where people come together in parks and where the streets are empty. I like looking at new places from all different angles.
But it isn’t just that.
I really dislike new places, too.
I don’t like the feeling of being disoriented in an unfamiliar space. The experience of making plans to be somewhere at a particular time and then suddenly realizing I have no idea where I’m going. What building am I heading to? Which entrance should I use? Where should I go once I’m inside? I can feel my pulse rising and my mouth getting dry just thinking about it.
My solution is to explore, as much as I can, as early as possible. I don’t mind getting lost if I’m not trying to get anywhere in particular. I’m happy wandering through spaces, taking things in, and wandering out again. It’s easier somehow. And in the process, I turn a new space into a familiar place.