Sandbox forum: Trouble driving being directionally challenged

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
May 13, 2016 8:48 PM CST
For those that don't know, I have severe trouble navigating and don't drive much because of it. It's so bad even using a GPS cannot guarantee my arrival.

I met someone who has the same issue as me but still gets around enough to where she needs to go (jealous!) albeit she gets lost but knows how to get back on track where I don't.

It sucks, I have no social life because I can't get places and I can't pick up a girl for a date or get to her place or go out for fun.

What's interesting is I navigate by landmarks, and read an article that most women navigate that way, where men know north,south,east,west and miles much better from back when men hunted and traveled far from family groups so had to know how to get home on their own, it's a scientific fact and usually why men rarely ask for directions and women always seem to make a wrong turn.
I guess I got the gift of the wrong thinking brain LOL.

Do any of you have real trouble driving that it's affecting your life? Have you ever found a solution?
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 13, 2016 11:16 PM CST
No, not me, but I know of a lady who does. She rarely leaves the house because she cant find her way back home. Landmarks street signs, directions, GPS are no use for her.

Recently, i found a related article. I'll see if I can find it. You are not alone!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
Houseplants Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Butterflies
Hummingbirder Garden Sages
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gasrocks
May 14, 2016 8:07 AM CST
I am not directionally challenged myself. I do teach a class on GPS. I'm biased but I find it is a very useful thing. I use a hand held unit that has maps built in. If you use it in its default way, all you get is another map that you might have trouble reading, following, agreed. Use the feature called Go To. I have the back door to my house coordinates in memory named "Home." Wherever I am at I can ask for Go To Home. It puts a large arrow up on the display pointing towards my back door. If it points ahead, I drive ahead. If it swings to the right, I turn right, etc. If it points toward the rear of my car, I missed a turn and go back a ways. Just follow the arrow and you will get home. No need for names of towns, streets and such. Landmarks are used by many people sometimes without their realizing it. Long ago (before GPS) I had to go to a farm and fix something. I called the farmer and asked for directions: "Well, take the old road out of town and when you get to where Bill's barn was before it burned down, turn left." Let me know if I am helping or not. Gene
[Last edited by gasrocks - May 14, 2016 8:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 14, 2016 1:28 PM CST
@gasrocks, I have used that feature with the arrow. What caused the trouble was when turns were a few hundred feet from one another and I had to guess which one to turn on. Where I live these kind of roads are everywhere.
Also missing a turn, these GPS are known for taking you out of the way to get back to your location but sometimes it's 15 or 20 minutes away when normally it was a two minute drive if you know where your going. This further confused me and when you add the crazy traffic always on highways and expressways and trying to switch lanes it's been a disaster for me. I end up calling someone to follow home.

Here are two main roads I need to go on to travel anywhere decent. https://youtu.be/dPWMD2PsozI
https://youtu.be/DeqRKHE6HlA
[Last edited by keithp2012 - May 14, 2016 1:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
May 14, 2016 2:21 PM CST
Yes, heavy traffic does not help. I have never seen a GPS, when properly used (there's the rub) not take you directly there. Sounds like you do indeed have a problem. Guess getting a job as a cab driver is out of the question? Gene
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
Houseplants Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Butterflies
Hummingbirder Garden Sages
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gasrocks
May 14, 2016 5:18 PM CST
I cannot imagine being in your predicament. Wish I could help more. Gene
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 18, 2016 4:23 PM CST
http://www.drmetablog.com/2006/09/geographical_dy.html

19 Things Only Directionally-Challenged People Understand
Kim Quindlen
1. People can’t just tell you to “head north” or “head east.” That doesn’t help you in any way whatsoever.

2. The only “north” you really feel sure about is North West, as in… the baby.

3. The only time someone’s directions help are when they are literally sitting right next to you in the car, telling you to “turn right here” and then “wait until you get up to this light. Yes, this one. Coming up. Allllmost there. And turn left here.” Anything that involves less hand-holding than that just means you’re screwed.

4. You hate when people tell you to go “x miles” until you turn left at the light. You have no sense of mileage whatsoever.

5. …Like it would honestly be better if they just told you to drive for three Beyoncé songs and then turn left at the light.

6. Without using a GPS or Google Maps, you’re not actually sure you would have gotten anywhere, ever.

7. Sometimes, you even have trouble finding your table again after you use the restroom when you’re out at a restaurant.

8. Your friends usually add on 15 minutes to the time that you say you’re going to be there, especially if it’s a new location, because they assume you’re going to get lost.

9. There has been more than one time where you have been lost in a parking garage, trying to find your car for over an hour. Especially at the airport.

10. If you enter into a busy and/or large store through one door and exit out another, you are completely thrown off and have to take at least ten minutes to reorient yourself and figure out which way you’re supposed to go.

11. You can never remember which way to exit the mall department store in order to get back to your car in terms of “it was a left around this corner and then a right there.” Rather, you think, “well, there were a bunch of funky-looking colorful socks in the corner, so if I see them, I’m on the right path.”

12. The most confident you ever feel in terms of getting from one place to another is when you’re already inside an airport going from one gate to another. But only because there are signs literally every five feet that are basically saying “Good job! You are nailing this! Just make it another five feet and we’ll give you another arrow telling you that you’re going the right way.”

13. Going on a road trip with friends means you’re always somewhere in the back. You’re not helpful enough to be the navigator in the passenger seat, and your friends would have to be insane to even consider letting you actually attempt to drive the vehicle somewhere.

14. …So usually you’re placed in the back with a pitying “You can do the music!”

15. You hate when people stop and ask you for directions. Not because you don’t want to be helpful, but because you can really only help them if it’s something that’s within two blocks of your home.

16. You’re the person who actually stops at looks at the giant map when you’re inside any kind of mall, atrium, or conference center. You spend at least thirty seconds finding the “YOU ARE HERE” guiding star, and then another five minutes trying to understand exactly which way you need to go to get to the food court.

17. When you think about the fact that people used to be able to figure their way around simply by looking at the sun, you’re like “…lol.”

18. If you ever have to participate in a caravan of cars, people will do anything to make sure you’re somewhere in the middle with some safe padding. If you’re the lead car, everybody’s screwed. If you’re the last car, they know they’ll lose you within twenty-seven seconds. Best to attempt to keep you somewhere in the middle so that the chances of you getting lost go from 100% down to like 74%.

19. Whenever you’re on the phone with friends and they’re trying to help you figure out how to get to them, it’s usually just five minutes of worthlessness. They’ll ask you what cross streets you’re at, and you usually reply with “Umm… there’s a Ruby Tuesday’s on my right?” Most of the time, you honestly just find them – or anything else you’re looking for – by accident. TC mark
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 18, 2016 9:02 PM CST
ShadyGreenThumb said:http://www.drmetablog.com/2006/09/geographical_dy.html

19 Things Only Directionally-Challenged People Understand
Kim Quindlen
1. People can’t just tell you to “head north” or “head east.” That doesn’t help you in any way whatsoever.

2. The only “north” you really feel sure about is North West, as in… the baby.

3. The only time someone’s directions help are when they are literally sitting right next to you in the car, telling you to “turn right here” and then “wait until you get up to this light. Yes, this one. Coming up. Allllmost there. And turn left here.” Anything that involves less hand-holding than that just means you’re screwed.

4. You hate when people tell you to go “x miles” until you turn left at the light. You have no sense of mileage whatsoever.

5. …Like it would honestly be better if they just told you to drive for three Beyoncé songs and then turn left at the light.

6. Without using a GPS or Google Maps, you’re not actually sure you would have gotten anywhere, ever.

7. Sometimes, you even have trouble finding your table again after you use the restroom when you’re out at a restaurant.

8. Your friends usually add on 15 minutes to the time that you say you’re going to be there, especially if it’s a new location, because they assume you’re going to get lost.

9. There has been more than one time where you have been lost in a parking garage, trying to find your car for over an hour. Especially at the airport.

10. If you enter into a busy and/or large store through one door and exit out another, you are completely thrown off and have to take at least ten minutes to reorient yourself and figure out which way you’re supposed to go.

11. You can never remember which way to exit the mall department store in order to get back to your car in terms of “it was a left around this corner and then a right there.” Rather, you think, “well, there were a bunch of funky-looking colorful socks in the corner, so if I see them, I’m on the right path.”

12. The most confident you ever feel in terms of getting from one place to another is when you’re already inside an airport going from one gate to another. But only because there are signs literally every five feet that are basically saying “Good job! You are nailing this! Just make it another five feet and we’ll give you another arrow telling you that you’re going the right way.”

13. Going on a road trip with friends means you’re always somewhere in the back. You’re not helpful enough to be the navigator in the passenger seat, and your friends would have to be insane to even consider letting you actually attempt to drive the vehicle somewhere.

14. …So usually you’re placed in the back with a pitying “You can do the music!”

15. You hate when people stop and ask you for directions. Not because you don’t want to be helpful, but because you can really only help them if it’s something that’s within two blocks of your home.

16. You’re the person who actually stops at looks at the giant map when you’re inside any kind of mall, atrium, or conference center. You spend at least thirty seconds finding the “YOU ARE HERE” guiding star, and then another five minutes trying to understand exactly which way you need to go to get to the food court.

17. When you think about the fact that people used to be able to figure their way around simply by looking at the sun, you’re like “…lol.”

18. If you ever have to participate in a caravan of cars, people will do anything to make sure you’re somewhere in the middle with some safe padding. If you’re the lead car, everybody’s screwed. If you’re the last car, they know they’ll lose you within twenty-seven seconds. Best to attempt to keep you somewhere in the middle so that the chances of you getting lost go from 100% down to like 74%.

19. Whenever you’re on the phone with friends and they’re trying to help you figure out how to get to them, it’s usually just five minutes of worthlessness. They’ll ask you what cross streets you’re at, and you usually reply with “Umm… there’s a Ruby Tuesday’s on my right?” Most of the time, you honestly just find them – or anything else you’re looking for – by accident. TC mark


@ShadyGreenThumb yes this is all me perfectly! 😄

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
May 18, 2016 9:40 PM CST
I'm pretty sure almost everyone can relate to at least some of those... park at a mall, not paying that much attention because your mind is on something else, forget which door you went in... Blinking

and, doesn't EVERYONE look at that giant map in the mall??

I have been seriously lost inside hotels more than once -- and have recurring dreams about being in a large hotel (or some such thing -- maybe my college dorm?) and never being able to get back to my room because I can't find the stairway that goes there. And I think I spent the entire 7th grade (long long ago, but it left a lasting impression) not actually knowing how I got to my science class every day.

On the other hand, if I have a map - or GPS - I'm fine. Not a good idea to ask me for directions, though...

I particularly like this one:

"11. You can never remember which way to exit the mall department store in order to get back to your car in terms of “it was a left around this corner and then a right there.” Rather, you think, “well, there were a bunch of funky-looking colorful socks in the corner, so if I see them, I’m on the right path.”"

I'm imagining the store clerks rearranging things while I'm shopping and those socks are in some other area... uh oh !
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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GrammaChar
May 19, 2016 5:33 AM CST
I have a stitch in my side from laughing so hard. I can relate to several of these. When I go to visit my daughter in another town, I always have to look for the purple resale shop and then the big red barn to make turns. If they ever repaint or tear down the barn, I will be hopelessly lost.
GrammaChar
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
May 19, 2016 7:00 AM CST
I have used my GPS to mark where I parked the car at the mall. Gene
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
May 19, 2016 7:03 AM CST
I understand all this perfectly. I have always had so much trouble with navigating and getting places (now 70 years old and no better than when I was 20). I can be in an area where I have been many times before and have no clear idea how to get home - of course, I have always figured it out eventually, but very disconcerting. It has always made me very much aware how people suffering from dementia must feel when they get disoriented. Where I used to live, there is a mall with animal pictures on top of the tall light poles in the parking lots (several large lots surrounding the mall). I guess they are there to help people find their cars. That is what I used them for anyway - I kept a little notebook where I would write down which animal I parked near, and right inside the mall door what displays were there - for example kangaroo and ladies shoes in Macy. My husband would laugh, but I noticed he would glance over at my notebook when I pulled it out on the way out.

As far as driving, he has a good sense of direction and I have depended on it for many years. We decided this must be a genetic thing as one of our sons has much the same problem. Between paper maps, GPS - 2 different models, and a handy cell phone, I get where I must be. But it would be nice to just go there and not so much angst.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 19, 2016 7:18 AM CST
I am genetally great with directions, right down to knowing north, south, east, wedt. But if I'm not driving all bets are off. While i am a great Navigator in the right seat, I never seem to get my bearing while telling the driver where to go.
There are certaim cities that i have visited often, dtiven through many times that I don't know well. For some reason, even if I'm the Driver I can't map it out in my head. It makes me crazy! I study the maps and GPS and still, I am the U-Turn Queen.
I have a friend whom I often travel with. She always drives while I navigate. I found out the hard way that she cant read a map. We were heading somewhere in an unfamiliar city once. She was looking at the map upsidedown! She's very smart otherwise.It's just something she never grasped, I guess?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder
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GrammaChar
May 19, 2016 7:27 AM CST
U-Turn Queen Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
GrammaChar
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
May 19, 2016 7:58 AM CST
"She was looking at the map upsidedown! She's very smart otherwise.It's just something she never grasped, I guess?"

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing I have a girlfriend, also a very smart person, who did that exact thing while her husband was driving... hoo boy! That little story got a lot of mileage, so to speak. Big Grin

Gene, very good idea to save the location on the GPS - we should make use of the technology that we have right in our pocket (as soon as we figure it out Smiling ).
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
May 19, 2016 8:27 AM CST
The very first day I had a GPS I decided some testing was in order. I parked in the mall parking lot, saved that location in memory. Ran an errand 15 miles away and decided to go back to that mall parking lot. I got there, parked but my GPS said I was not there yet. I'm thinking maybe GPS is not as good as touted. Turns out I wasn't there yet since I was parked in a different stall. Gene
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
May 19, 2016 8:31 AM CST
GPS isn't perfect, that's for sure... especially if you encounter road construction. We occasionally go to Green Bay, where they've been working on a huge project with their roads for what seems like forever now -- our GPS gets very testy about having to "recalculate" so many times! Hilarious!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 19, 2016 1:45 PM CST
The hardest part is wherever I go I go alone. If I had someone to navigate I would be fine. I passed drivers Ed fine because I was told what to do and when to do it.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
May 19, 2016 2:42 PM CST
keithp2012 said:The hardest part is wherever I go I go alone. If I had someone to navigate I would be fine. I passed drivers Ed fine because I was told what to do and when to do it.


Until the navigator was reading the map upside-down... Whistling

Sometimes the best way for me to figure out how to get somewhere I'm not familiar with is to just do it -- get lost, then find my way back or to the destination. But, that's easy for me to say when I live in a very rural area and not in a busy city...
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
May 19, 2016 3:04 PM CST
I love how "Jane" my GPS voice (as in "Jane, you ignorant sl*t from SNL) mispronounces street names. We live near Atascosita Rd. Pronounced, "uh-tas-ko-SEE-ta Rd.". Jane calls it "attica-SIGH-ta Rd." SMH
I use the GPS on my phone. But the stand alone GPS are pretty cool. But they do give you wrong directions a good percentage of the time. But at least you get to choose the voice that sends you the wrong direction.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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