I get lost. Geographically embarrassed, turned around, disorientated.

Not just when I’m driving, I can get lost when I’m on foot as well. Just like my love for words is almost a super power, getting lost is my kryptonite. Or something like that.
I have gotten lost in shopping centres, in inner city Sydney, airports, inside hospitals. Great when you are an agency nurse in Brisbane!
I get hesitant, and then I get disoriented and then, BAM! I’m in a slightly wrong parallel universe. It all looks normal, but I have no idea where I am or how to get to where I’m going.
I’m ok when in the bush, but put me in civilisation and I become geographically dyslexic.
It’s become that commonplace that my boys call these…….detours… “Mummy’s little adventures!”

Throughout my life I used to panic when I would get lost. These moments would cause great anxiety, tears, nausea and generally distress. I have been known to scream at passing by cars “But which way do I gooooooooo?”
Through cough maturity, (Over exposure to being lost? A need to be the grown up when I’m lost and the boys in the car? )I have regained some self-control and as long as I have petrol and a phone, I’m much cooler and more calm now when I invariably end up somewhere unintended.

I bought a new car last year, and I got to build it to my specifications. Living in small town Grafton, I opted to NOT get the inbuilt satellite navigation system. It was a many thousand dollar option (it had other whiz bang things attached to the package) that I did not require as I had grown up in Grafton. Although there are no guarantees once I have to leave the beaten track, it was worth the risk.
Then, unexpectedly, I moved to Canberra!

So, mum and dad got me a Navman, which is awesome except my Navman at times does not like its satellite/GPS connection thingy. So it loses it signal at random times and other times will not connect at all. Or I might be driving along and then Navman turns itself on, and starts talking to me, then switches off again, abandoning me to my fate.

So, I use my smart phone. I have an app, I can change the voice it uses, and I elected to use Dame Edna. She keeps me calm, tells me to put my driving gloves on, calls me Possum, and we get there in the end. She congratulates me when I arrive at the destination!

I’m pretty sure if it were possible, my nav voices would snort in derision or sigh in frustration at times when directing me around! I would not be surprised if I heard them mutter a well-timed “FFS!”

Like any other handicap, there are ways of overcoming.
If I have enough prior knowledge of my need to go somewhere unfamiliar (and since I’ve moved, EVERYTHING is unfamiliar!) I plan my route ahead of time and add in extra time for me to get lost and then get unlost and still be on time.
I insure I have plenty of petrol in my car, for the extra kilometres I will invariably drive.
I can ring hubby who has directed me through a problem and got me out of trouble.

Like a homing pigeon or a migratory animal, I eventually learn a route and become familiar, but only with that route. I do better with landmarks too, rather than street names for some reason.

But no matter what I do, it is a real Achilles heel that many of my family and friends get a great deal of amusement out of!

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