When you arrive in a new city everything seems to be strange, and in fact it is, so you will be lost for a few minutes until your mind realizes that the language is another and the place is different.
I didn't realize that I was actually in London until I saw a black cab and a red bus. I left Paddington Station and there they were: the typical postcard of the city.
But when my mind registered the change of place there was, still, my incapacity of reading maps and my ability of getting lost.
You can't imagine how many wonderful things I found! And of course I found weird things too, like when I ended a bus trip at a jewish cementery in the middle of nowhere. Did I panic? No, not at all. I was surprised because I didn't expect to find such an interesting place that day.
Then I got lost when I took the wrong way of exit in Hyde Park. First I ended at Chelsean and then, as I kept walking, I arrived in a bridge whose name I still don't know, and found a new set of buildings that long ago were part of the harbour.
I also got lost in the West End (yes, can you believe it?) while I was trying to get to the Piccadilly Theatre. I took the wrong street and found beautiful shops but not the theatre. Then fortunately I found the street and voilà, there it was, just in front of my nose!
Maybe you'll think that I'm a stupid (and perhaps I am, haha) but it was so beautiful to get lost because it was my possibility to discover unexpected things, things that not everybody will find, or at least not a normal tourist.
If i've never got lost I wouldn't find those amazing places, it helped me to interact with strangers, and the most important thing: I was alert and with my eyes wide open.
I was right at the present, without a mobile gps, just my paper map and me. That's the perfect description of freedom, that's the difference between a tourist and a traveller.