Day 13: Take a Detour

When I lived in the States, most of my detours were unintentional. I’m directionally challenged, so I got lost quite a bit, and — except for a few stressful times when I ended up in a sketchy neighborhood, at night, with no idea how to find the freeway — the detours were actually fun. I discovered new shortcuts, interesting restaurants and cute neighborhoods I never would have found if I hadn’t gotten lost.

Now that I live abroad, and especially now that I have a car again, I take intentional detours all the time. Most recently, one of these side trips lead me and my friend to an abandoned castle — on Jeju! We often see ancient temples and shrines, but castles are rare. I’m super bummed because I can’t find my point-and-shoot camera that has all the photos on it, but, trust me, it was an amazing discovery.

We first spotted it from far away and wanted to get a closer look, but barbed wire and padlocked gates stood in our way. We weren’t deterred. We searched and searched until we found a tiny, somewhat scary, winding path that took us directly to the castle grounds. As we approached it, I half expected to see a witch or talking lion appear before us.

Truly the best detour ever.

For today’s challenge, though, I took a slightly different approach. Instead of aimlessly wandering and hoping to find something intriguing (what could beat a castle anyway?), my intention was to pay attention to the path I always take.

All of us drive or walk by interesting things every day, but how often do we take the time to stop and check them out? Sort of like stopping to smell the roses, but different.

Three days a week, I pass this strange little orange submarine thing on the side of the road. It sort of looks like an abandoned car, except that it’s a submarine, in a small field, next to a sidewalk, a few miles from any water. Large letters spelling “Cambodia” on its side are its most intriguing feature. How, on earth, did it end up here? I often think about pulling over and taking a closer look, but there’s always an excuse why I don’t. I’m too busy or I’m tired or it’s raining, blah, blah, blah.

But today, I decided I would finally stop and investigate. Much to my dismay, the submarine was gone!

Just kidding. But, seriously, that could’ve happened.

Anyway, I drove past it with the intention of photographing it, but the lighting was much too harsh. I had to wait for the sun to sink a bit, so I decided to meander through the neighboring towns. More than an hour passed easily, and even though I didn’t see anything quite as amazing as a hidden castle, simply slowing down and soaking in my surroundings was a great way to end my work week.

I know living in a beautiful location helps. But I truly believe there’s beauty everywhere — even in random abandoned objects on the side of the road — if you’re open to seeing it.

Where did your detour take you and what did you see?

Tomorrow’s Challenge: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
To see what else is coming up, check the 30-day Challenge List .

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11 thoughts on “Day 13: Take a Detour

  1. Wow! Nothing quite as exciting as a castle or sub…. But I managed to carry over the help / be nice to a stranger challenge with the detour today. I decided to walk to the gym, instead of driving, and really look at the sites along the way. Someone honked and signaled me over to her car. An elderly woman was lost while trying to find the local library. And yes, I was able to guide her to her destination:). After the gym, where I met up with Susie, we detoured to Al’s Big Burger, to eat whatever we wanted. Who would have thought that we would be having so much unexpected fun following our niece’s cool challenges:)

  2. When I read your entry, I thought I’d totally blown it. I had intended to take a detour but it completely slipped my mind. Then I remembered that I did take a detour today, and I did it intentionally. When I came to a “Y” in the road to the lake I went right instead of left. I knew the tornado had gone that way, and I wanted to see what damage it had done. It was a road I’d passed hundreds of times and one that I knew where it went, but I had never taken it. I got so engrossed in looking at new things that I almost had a head on collision. It would have been my fault, since I’d crossed over the center while checking out a catfish restaurant. I can’t be certain that your challenge had any influence on my taking a new road to the lake, but I did get my detour in. And yes, we did see more tornado damage. So sad.

  3. Wow! It’s after 10pm here now, and I just had the chance to read this. ‘Twas a busy day. HowEVER, I’m excited to report that my busy day was a result of my needing to accomplish everything before heeding to Houston (3 hour drive). Once I got in the car and started driving, I realized I’d forgotten to eat. Doh! So, as I sit at some random restaurant now, about 36 miles outside Houston, catching up on my emails, Facebook and whatnot, I kind of feel that I got the chance to fulfill my challenge for the day. lol! I COULD have gone to McD’s, but I opted to eat at a nice place I’d never tried before…which is where I’m posting this comment from now. Xox. We’re connected, baby!

  4. This is my very favorite so far!

    The challenge is interesting, the photo fantastic, and the writing engaging. The whole tone and energy of the piece is so perfectly, brilliantly, endearingly Angela-esque.

    Love it! You continue to inspire.

    • Thank you! Actually, I was rushed writing this and didn’t love it, so after some time away from it, I made a few edits. Hopefully it’s better now. 🙂 In any case, I’m glad you liked it!

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