Travel Bug: Sense of Direction

I’ve wanted to put down my thoughts in this blog about traveling for a while now.  Some travelers are born.  Others learn through painful trials.  I’d like to think I apply a healthy mix of Virgo practicality, geek sensibility, and a newfound respect for “going with the flow” to my travel adventures.  There are many more travel learnings to come but plenty of tidbits I’ve collected both from my former consulting life and from my newer wanderlust.  Travel Bug topics will be where I share them.  Some of self taught, some from fellow travelers, and all thoughts are welcome!In cleaning my office and prepping for an upcoming trip to NYC, I recently found my Anton Miles “Little Maps.”  These are plastic cards small enough to fit in your wallet showing maps of city sections.  I used them back in 2001 with my first trip to New York and they were a life saver.

No matter where you go....
No matter where you go....

But like any map, and particularly online searchable maps, it’s only as good as its most recent update.  And there are some cautions: I tried to use Google maps to map a subway route from Midtown to Battery Park.  I wound up choosing a location with an actual address.  The results were sub par; I was directed to get off several stops earlier than I should have even though I picked the Ritz Carlton Battery Park as my destination.
So common sense still reins to say that if you aren’t in familiar territory, take some time to review your are ahead of time so you have a general sense of distance and direction.  For most people without a natural sense of north-south, learn those landmarks.
My favorite tip: Find a local to help you out, preferably a friend.  But concierges and hotel staff are great helps too since your enjoyment in their city drives their tips.
Which isn’t to say that those Anton Miles maps aren’t still a good backup.  At $1.99 a card, you never know when loss of signal, battery rundown, or iPhone difficulties will require a handy backup.

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