Most Who Wander Are Lost.

The neglected question is: Do you know where you are and why you are wandering?

Once something becomes mass adopted it loses the cultural significance of what it stood for. 

Case in point is the wonderful Tolkien line that has become the internet "meme" tattooed on the youth, plastered on hostel walls and on every Instagram tagline of the bikini-clad travel x-logger. 

Not all those who wander are lost
— J.R.R Tolkien

I agree with Tolkien 100%. But I daresay I don't think many who frolic to it have taken the time to digest what this could actually mean. 

I think any action without purpose is a result of someone who is lost. 

This does not mean that I think wandering is without purpose. To the contrary. There are plenty of individuals who've designed a life of wandering. But many do so with purpose, whether it be learning a new culture, experiencing something unplanned etc.. I think there is some kind of innate curiosity that is being tickled with such a journey. 

Buying a one-way ticket to another country to start a five year vagabonding trip can have purpose. It may actually have more purpose than someone following the crowd down the subway line to enter the financial district to sit at the cubicle and tick and tie the same numbers over and over again. I've done the latter and doing the former sounds so much more scarier than harder to blindly do. 

I'm going make a leap of faith here though and say that most people do not have actions with purpose. Most who wander do not have actions with purpose and are in fact truly lost. Then, the many who are lost felt great to hear someone say they weren't actually lost and it became a mainstream status. 

Yes, we are social creatures and we seek the support and validation of our tribe.

Hence we may be inclined to state that we are not actually lost but a true tribe does not need an explanation. They "get it". 

It's like how people have this preconceived notion that artists starve. 

That too was a creation by the majority of artists who were not great at their craft trying to justify their situations. It's like trying to say all athletes starve. No, the great ones don't. Most don't get to be great. Same with artists. Michelangelo was one of the wealthiest artists of the renaissance and his net worth is estimated to have been around $50M, adjusted for inflation.

So, no. Most who wander are lost. That's okay. 

Just stop to examine the life you've led. Figure out where you are. 

Where is "here"? Who the hell are you? Where do you think you want to go? 

Now you have point A (here) and point B (there). Everything in between is "living". The part where people "outside looking in" may think you're wandering and lost. But you're not. Intrinsically you know where you are and where you hope to get to. Wandering is just the messy middle. 

Wherever you are is always point A. As long as you stop to examine where you are. You're never lost, you merely appear to be to the uncaring eye.