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October 19, 2009



When I moved to my current location, I took lots of walks (you notice street signs more), got an excellent spiral bound street map, and plotted out my treks visually on the map before getting in the car. I also made a point of going to new places frequently so I would start to learn new parts of town and eventually different ways to get anywhere.

For reference, my sense of direction is good but not foolproof.


I don't have a GPS, but then you know I'm like your dad and D.
A hint however.. listen for the trains... they're near your house (well, a street near your house). If you head towards the train noise, you'll get back to familiar ground.


I've only driven in my hometown (where I grew up, and thus know it like the back of my hand) and the town(s) around my undergrad university. How I learned them was twofold - I would drive with other people who knew the roads better. The more you travel the roads, the more you know them. The other way is that I would just drive and let myself get lost (otherwise known as exploring) and if I went too far (for my own comfort) I would turn around somehow and go back along the way I had come. I learned only a few streets I could memorize in order to get back to a place I knew before going any further. I also have an amazing visual memory so I would create visual markers in my head for where I needed to go (i.e. I turned left at the red bar, I turned right at the pond with the plastic swans, etc). Giving yourself permission to get lost also takes away some of the panicky feelings, since you're telling yourself it's OK and that you know you can get back somehow if you do get lost (i.e. calling D to walk you through, stopping for directions, finding the entrance to a highway you know and taking it back to a more familiar location, etc). I get panicky when I get lost in the car too, so I completely understand.

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