Of Maps and Navigation

January 2, 2019

How do you drive to a destination?

What happened to those maps, I mean the real ones which folds out to a very large piece of paper, which get torn along the fold lines after some time? Whatever happened to the mental map inside your head which tells you exactly where you are at any instance? Whatever to happened to asking around and talking to people to locate an address? Real travelers relied upon these basics to reach destinations.


It makes me sad that travelers of today start their journeys with setting up their electronic navigation tools. They get guidance from electronic voices coming out of a small box, telling them when to turn right and to turn left and to go straight….. sheesh! And despite this driving aid people still lose their ways. This makes me so sad sometimes.


What I mean is, I have lived on the largest island of Luzon in the Philippines and I don’t really need a box to tell me to go left or right. I know where north, south, east and west is. I know which major roads to take to reach the general vicinity of my destination. I know which landmarks to follow like lakes, bridges, mountains, etc., to keep me on the right course. I don’t need an electronic voice for that. There will always be people to ask for help with directions along the way. If you get lost, you can always drive back.

asking directions from local

Don’t get me wrong, I do use navigation aid only when a specific address is required, say in an unfamiliar subdivision. But getting to that subdivision itself will not require guidance from the gizmo.

There is nothing wrong with asking around, it is called interacting with people. Talking to people along your way makes for an opportunity to immerse yourself in the community. Having the instinct to use your mental imagery of your current location is good for your brain. It was what propelled our forefathers to discover new land and maybe a habitable planet in the future.

Resurrect your brain to be hooked up for travelling. Just look out the window and talk to people, enjoy the views once in a while, get lost and find your way back. Then maybe at least in little moment in time, have that freedom and space away from your gadgets and electronic doo-dads and just drive free.