The Wayward Stroll 101: How to Get Lost in Suburban Bushlands


Step 1. Leave house in late afternoon with only a vague notion of where you’re going.

Step 2. Don’t bring headlamp, map, money, phone, water, snacks, etc.

Step 3. Walk for an hour or two deep into bushlands on nicely marked paths.

Step 4. Upon noticing it will be dark soon, decide to go just a little farther.

Step 5. Don’t retrace steps, just walk in the “general” direction of home, because you hate retracing your steps!

Step 6. Find inviting open meadow with kangaroos and wallabies, and climb over fence for a quick hello.

Step 7. See an arrow pointing to your neighborhood several km away. Get distracted by wallabies and follow them into woods.

Step 8. Notice you are somewhat lost, with no human trails around, surrounded by dozens of large hopping mammals. Let slight panic subside as you remember you’re in a nature reserve in the capital of the country. It’s not that big (right, RIGHT?).

Step 9. Make sure it’s getting even darker. Berate yourself for being foolish and coming out so unprepared.

Step 10. Follow kangaroo paths- they must lead somewhere. Crawl through bushes and marshlands. If big kangaroos can go through, so can you. Continue walking in general direction of home. Thank the Telstra tower for guiding the way.

Step 11. Decide kangaroo paths all lead home. The kangaroos’ home. Revel in the beauty and magic of the little open meadow deep in the twilight wood. Listen to the swaying and creaking of the eucalyptus forest, the crescendo of a thousand frogs in the pond. Gawk at dozens of kangaroos as they gawk at you, intruder in their secret garden.

Step 12. Make sure it is now almost fully dark. Bushwhack back to the freeway that lies somewhere in the distance, in the last glimmer of dusk.

Step 13. Follow rusty barbed-wire fence until you find a spot you think you can climb.

Step 14. Climb over. Don’t get scratched. You have no insurance in this country. It should be a challenge.

Step 15. Wonder if boyfriend is out looking for you, as you walk along the highway in the general direction of home.

Step 16. Find the highway unpleasant, and navigate back over fence.

Step 17. Thank the clear night and silver moon for guidance.

Step 18. Discover human path.

Step 19.  Rejoice at the sight of a streetlamp, and find yourself in your own neighborhood.

Step 20. Be delighted by Life.

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