What makes it easier to practice curiosity? I’ve already mentioned that I find having time, not feeling pressured, helps. Yesterday on a walk through the woods I found another aspect that helps—confidence. It was in a place where I had gotten a little lost this summer. Nothing life-threatening but it caused a detour that tacked on almost an hour’s walk along the road in the hot sun back to the car. That might not have mattered so much for me, but my poor dog was really panting and tired by the time we got back.
This time I wanted to find the (shorter and prettier) path through the woods. It’s not a marked trail, but it seems pretty clear on the map. When the time to leave the beaten track and go in a new direction I was helped by the knowledge that I could get us home pretty much no matter what. We might lose the trail, but all we had to do was follow the sun to go in the right direction. Worst case scenario we could then bushwhack back to civilization (which wasn’t all that far away anyway). The knowledge that I could cope with the situation—i.e., my confidence in my ability to get us home safely—really helped me set off in an unknown direction and be curious about what was coming.