To Improve Your Sense of Direction, Lose the Technology

In News, SOP News, Art of Travel News by Prof

NY Times: Are you one of those people who get lost in walk-in closets? Do you build in extra travel time to account for getting lost? Is your sense of direction like a weather vane spinning in strong winds?

For the directionally challenged, getting from Point A to Point B can be a frustrating, time-wasting ordeal. If the idea of trying to get someplace unfamiliar makes you anxious, fear not: Experts say there are steps you can take to improve your sense of direction.

Create a mental map

Review a map of your proposed route before heading out, and perhaps even trace it with your finger, Dr. Brendan Kelley, a neurologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said in an email. It will help provide context for the route. Once you arrive, review the map and the route you traveled to reinforce the memory of how you got there.

By reviewing a map before your travel, you can take note of “handrails” — landmarks such as bodies of water, stores and streets — that will visually guide you, Ben G. Oliver, the director of outdoor education at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., said in an interview.

Be mindful of place

Stop and enjoy the scenery. Set your phone to vibrate every 15 minutes to remind you to note where you are, Richard S. Citrin, an organizational psychologist from Pittsburgh, said in an email.  Read more.