It’s strange, but I’ve discovered I have a better sense of direction than many people — when I travel, it doesn’t take that long for me to figure out the lay of the land, and soon I’m walking around almost like a local.
But I’ve also found out that many other people don’t have this good sense of direction, and it can make things difficult for them when they travel to a new place.
I used to think maybe it was something you were born with or not, but I’m now convinced that it’s a set of skills you can learn. For me, it always seemed instinctive, until a friend asked me what i do when I get to a new place. I’ve done a lot of analyzing of what I do since then, and I’ve broken the skill into a series of steps.
I hope this helps those who feel lost.
Here’s what I recommend, whenever you get to a new city or area you’re not totally familiar with:
I find that people can develop this with practice, and it’s also something to teach your kids as you travel. Let them navigate even if it takes a bit longer — it’s a great skill for them to learn. If you have a spouse, take turns navigating so one person doesn’t have an underdeveloped sense of direction.
In my experience, this is a key skill for traveling, and it makes every trip so much more fun when you can really figure out a city and start to understand it like a local does. Happy wandering, my friends.