I am not very good at directions, many people might think this is a gender thing, as the jokes go, women and directions and all that nonsense.
But for me it goes deeper than that, I even get lost on a well travelled path and getting from A to B can be a bit of a nightmare.
Now, not everyone is like this, my sibling, who is also dyslexic, has a mind for directions like a London cabbie.
They can pinpoint how every street connects, how you get to your destination in the shortest possible time, even in places they may have only been to once or twice.
They have even memorised all the bus numbers and routes. No matter where you want to go in the city, they can tell you the best way to get there.
Pretty amazing skill I’d say.
I, on the other hand, do not have a clue.
I have lived in my City for many, many years and when I was a teenager spent most of my life in the city centre, travelling around with friends. Yet, I still don’t know the street or area names and if people give me directions to follow or an area to get to, I’d be lost!
Driving is a whole other ball game. Trying to read the possible options on the board on the lead up to a junction or a roundabout in enough time for you to make a safe and conscious decision can be difficult.
I have, however, got 2 secret weapons up my sleeve to prevent me from spending my life going round in circles and turning up late.
The first is simply, the maps app on my phone.
I can’t read a paper map, I have tried to learn so many times but I just can’t relate what I read or see on the paper to what I am seeing around me.
I love all the different apps you can get now, there is an app for everything and so many of them make my life much easier. I make full use of the maps app with sat nav features. I use it in the car all the time and even when I am walking around – turning off the speaking function of course!
My second weapon is land marking, I am not sure how many people do this but, it really helps me get around.
Land marking is exactly what it says on the tin.
I look for little memorable things around the area I am in, to help me get to my destination and find my way back. This can be anything, but most of the time I look for shops, restaurants and interesting buildings that I know I will remember the next time I see them.
This enables me to create a virtual picture map in my mind, connecting everything together and helping me to get from A to B.
I still couldn’t tell you the names of the streets or areas in my city and would definitely get you lost if I gave you directions. But now, in most cases, I can get to where I am going without getting lost.