The Principality is very small, as we all know, and getting lost is almost impossible. However, as previously reported, my wife has achieved the almost impossible on several occasions, usually walking straight past her destination, imagining it to be more complicated than it is.

“But I thought you had to turn left,” is often her plaintive refrain.

Generally speaking, getting lost is not a positive. Indeed, a negative. Appointments are missed.

Yet, at the Financial Times Business of Luxury event during the week I learned that getting lost is big business for at least one savvy young entrepreneur.

‘Get Lost’ is the catchy name for a special holiday scheme.

The holidaymaker, or should I say ‘victim,’ signs up to a bespoke arrangement in which he or she is taken to a mystery destination by private jet and limo and maybe snowmobile or camel and then dropped in it, in more ways than one. The client is given the task of finding his or her way home. We are not talking about Greek islands here, but various inhospitable places such as northern Sweden or any part of the Middle East where there isn’t an actual war taking place.

The client pays an undisclosed sum of money for the Get Lost holiday, part of which goes to pay retired or semi-retired Special Forces personnel to shadow the client to ensure his/her/their safety. Notice my use here of the gender-free ‘their’ pronoun. I am not sure I will always remember to use it, but here it is, once.

I know we all need stress in our lives, but I have always thought of holidays, or vacations, to be driven by get-away-from-it-all relaxation.

One day, if I retire before I die, I would love to go on a wine-tasting tour of the Saint-Emilion wine-growing area, with an emphasis on Margaux country. For example.

Get Lost seems to be an expensive way of replacing one type of stress with another, on the same principle that one type of pain can displace the original agony. Sometimes it’s not possible, like the time I bent down in a dark outbuilding in my Normandy retreat without noticing the rusty nail sticking out of the wall. Entering my left eye, it also cut a sizeable swathe through my cheek as I pulled away. I didn’t feel any better when the admissions nursing staff at Caen Hospital gasped in horror as I was wheeled into A and E, or as the French call it, E and A.

This leads me to the great Getaway this weekend as Brits scramble for seats on aeroplanes to come to France or Spain or Italy or Greece, or indeed any other place that’s not the UK.

Getaway is a word much in favour at the Daily Mail, and it amazes and amuses me how often it’s used. Apparently this weekend is the busiest British Getaway since 2019, and there are shock horror stories already over cancelled flights due to yet another technical glitch, jams on the M1,2,3,4,5,6, long waiting times at Dover when French border officials stamp passports, and so on, as the citizens of the United Kingdom do everything they can to get away from the country they profess to love so much.

If your need to get away is so compelling, why not get away and stay away and stop bleating about glitches and other peoples’ passport controls.

Why not, simply put, Get Lost?


PHOTO: Black Tomato

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