To be honest, getting lost can scare the bejesus out of me.

Fireworks with Disney moment
January 30, 2011
Call Your Inner Nerd Out! – Authentic Star Wars Art Exhibition
February 2, 2011

To be honest, getting lost can scare the bejesus out of me.

We all agree that getting lost is the best way to explore. I am totally on board with that opinion, I had that. Most of the time when I got lost, I see off the beaten paths, experience things out of the guide book, and see the most wonderful view.

But to be honest guys, admit it. Sometimes getting lost freaks me out.

One night, it still makes me chill a bit.

It was Beppu, Japan.

9 hell of Beppu - Sea hell

I looked one place up online, very small and charming natural spa. Beppu is famous for natural spa and has a few well made touristic spots but it’s still quite rustic. After enjoyed a day at the hell – 9 hell of Beppu -, I was heading to one little spa that I actually can put my body in. Getting there is not that hard. Few buses with all Japanese instructions, and streets nothing like the map I had. After few failures, I went in to a little local store to ask direction. Doh, small town small store, of course the sweet old couple only can speak Japanese. I kept saying the place – at least that was Japanese – and brought out my Japanese hand book to get a direction. But I guess direction was far too complicated to understand me. He drew a map but of course I could not recognized it. Sorry grandpa..

And his son (I guess) came from delivery. Oh sweet Japanese God of spa, he could understand me and kindly, he offered me to take there. How sweet of him! Oh my…

On the way to spa, I thought ‘yes I could never guess where it was.. it’s far too complicated and the place should change their instructions…’.


With the help of sweet Japanese man, an hour of natural, egg smell spa was successful. Just made me go ‘hhaaaaaa…..’.

Okay, now I remember the way back, but the problem was.. that it was seriously dark evening, make sense according to where I was standing, and no bus to go back. Well, so I walked. and Uh oh… there’s no sidewalk!!!! Damn… I was in curvy mountain road, with no street light, car runs super fast and without footpath. Oh my….

I don’t normally freak out, or try to appear not to be, but that was the moment, ‘Seriously, I could die out here.’ It scared the bejesus out of me.

The result of concentrating on my foot, car, and 3cm of footpath…. I got lost. “Where the heck I am?” Okay the view is wonderful.. but where am I??? It was nothing like the road the sweet guy drove me, and no sign of anything. That was the time getting lost is the best way can’t apply. No choice but walk to.. wherever till see any light. I was so on edge, and literally I was on the edge.

After some lapse of time…. finally, there was the light, store of I can’t read what it is! I’m alive, I’m saved! Yay!  I can’t thank the store enough. Happily ever after- after that. You know, I bought a ticket, successfully got back to hotel and had a beer of two.

The view. From somewhere.. middle of the stree of no foot path

It’s a fun memory now, but really I thought I could never go home! But still, I believe the power of getting lost. I doubted for a while but the belief was that strong. Because the view was phenominal. it scared me but at least gave me a chance to see ‘worth to lost’ view.

So, fellow travelers, let’s get lost! .. Oh that doesn’t sound right……


Happy to be alive!

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. LeslieTravel says:

    Yikes! I can picture you walking on that busy road in the dark. Must have been scary! I can totally relate… it sucks being lost, especially when it’s night, you are exhausted and/or you are in a sketchy area. But I suppose that’s part of the adventure 🙂

  2. Meaghan says:

    This story of you in Japan. That was me in Brussels, and Paris. Crying… “Si vous plait! I’m lost and a stupid American! Help me!” WAH!!!

  3. Erica says:

    Getting lost REALLY freaks me out which is why I’m usually in charge of the map. Shaun gets us lost in Austin so I normally don’t trust him when we’re other places.

    I did okay navigating in Japan. I got us to our hostels which is a huge feat. 😛

    I wish I could have gone to the springs.

  4. Mike Key says:

    Getting lost freaks us all out. Especially in strange places, it’s part of that inner need for control of our safety.

    I totally had an experience last year where I thought I was following a route we had already traveled, turned out I was very far off trail. I panicked after walking and walking and not finding the trail.

    Eventually however did find the trail after walking much further and applying some logic to land objects I had remembered.

  5. It’s a terrifying experience to get lost, especially in a place where you don’t know the language! I’ve been there, I got lost too many times during my first days in Japan! (Lived there for 10+ years!)

  6. Ted Nelson says:

    I love the caption on the picture from where you were lost. That was pretty funny. Yes, I could write some good posts about getting lost. It does suck, but getting found and having that getting found beer is great.

  7. Andrew says:

    Wow what a story. Dark roads with fast cars freak me out even if I do know where I am and where I am going.

    We good lost in Venice just this afternoon. Seems weird on such a tiny island, but thankfully no cars.

  8. Reminds me to always leave the house or hostel with plenty of water….just in case I get lost.

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