General Question

autumn43's avatar

Are you good with directions and finding places?

Asked by autumn43 (5282points) May 9th, 2009

Even before GPS – could you find your way around? Or are you someone who is hopelessly lost – even with a GPS? I know someone like that. I can’t understand that because I’m so good at finding places and then knowing how to get home, etc. Does this just come naturally to you (GPS already installed in brain)? or are you in a paper bag trying to find your way out?

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30 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I have NEVER been good at directions, but I’m better than I used to be. My husband & two daughters could find themselves in the middle of New York City & know where they were. I read an article one time in the paper that said people literally have like a little ‘chip’ in their brains that govern directions. I guess my chip has a short circuit in it. :-(

justwannaknow's avatar

I am damn good at finding where I am going and how to get back. I look at a map figure the directions look at the main boundries and away I go. I am lucky that way.

basp's avatar

I always end up where I need to go and generally have a good sense of direction.

casheroo's avatar

I’m fantastic with maps…and no, I’m not referring to anything like google maps ;) Just give me a map and I can find my way anywhere, and usually the quickest, or most scenic route as well.
I think I got this trait from my father, because my mother is hopeless even when given directions. I don’t usually like driivng long distances though, and would prefer my husband to, but I’m a much better driver than him (duh) so I end up having to do the driving, especially since I’ve driven and been to many more states than him.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. My school taught us to navigate with map and compass when I was about 10 (and then left us half way up a mountain at night in the rain to see if we had learned anything).

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

My bump of direction is terrible. If I’m left with only my senses in a large city I’m not familiar with then I’ll have a hard time. I can navigate any map though and I know how to read a compass. But really, can you give anyone a compass who won’t be able to figure it out as long as they know the needle points north?

gailcalled's avatar

All the women in my family, me in particular, have the “getting lost” gene. The last time I tried to drive to the Albany airport, I ended up on the Mass pike heading towards Boston. So I had to jump the divider when no one was looking.

Often, around here with no street lights and long stretches of country roads with no houses, I will make a dry run if I am going to visit someone in the back of beyone, which is almost everyone.

ccbatx's avatar

I have to be in a place that I know to know how to get around. Needless to say, I’m bad with directions. That is, unless it’s New York and the street names are really numbers, like 57th street or something. Otherwise, I would have to ask a million people ‘hey, how do you get to…’ That, or go on google maps=P

chyna's avatar

No, and I can’t find my car in a parking lot either. I have to check my surroundings and make a note of where I parked every time I get out of the car. Maybe a GPS for this would help me.

Supacase's avatar

I am very good with directions. If it is a city I am fairly familiar with, you can give me the general area and I can find the place with no problem. Even cities I have not been to in several years such as Indianapolis, where I lived until I was 8 years old.

Anywhere else, give me a map and I’m golden. My husband and I fight over the map. I think he should focus on the driving and let me navigate – especially since he tends to get us lost.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m OK if I have a map. If I don’t, but as long as I know where the sun is, I’m good. If I don’t see it, well, Houston, there might be a problem. I suppose I could always ask someone.

cak's avatar

I’m okay. Not great, but I don’t panic. I almost don’t mind getting lost, then I know for sure I can find my way home! It also sounds better when I say it that way.

knitfroggy's avatar

I’m great with directions which is excellent because my husband can barely find his way out of town. The first time we went anywhere, we had to take say 75 North to get where we were going. He didn’t “get” that when we were going home we took 75 South. He argued with me like crazy until I finally got him to understand the concept. He tried to act like he knew what he was doing but, I busted him out on it. So now, when we go any where he just shuts up and listens. if I could get him to do that at other times it would be awesome!

augustlan's avatar

If I can’t actually see my destination, I have no clue where it is. I need directions to places I’ve been 20 times! It’s very sad, really. :(

MissAusten's avatar

I’m awesome with directions and finding my way now that I have a GPS. ;) Otherwise, I’m notoriously horrible with directions and can get lost a mile from home. Cities with one-way streets are my nemesis.

I can read a map and use a compass, but I’ve never owned either one. The GPS is my new best friend.

hearkat's avatar

I have always been good with maps and also have a good sense of direction. I will check directions on Google or my iPhone now, so I no longer have to carry a map of every county in the state, as well as NY City and Philadelphia in the car the way I used to. But I will still make my own decisions on the directions, as I find the online services quite flawed.

My son seems almost too dependent on his GPS; especially since he always knew where we were headed as a little kid, and he did well when they learned about maps in Elementary School.

gailcalled's avatar

You could drop my ex-, blindfolded, from a plane into any major city in the US. Within ten minutes he would have his bearings. He was annoying for other reasons, but this was particularly difficult due to my severe geographical impairment.

punkrockworld's avatar

I’m a disaster..
I can have a map and a gps and still get lost!

peedub's avatar

I am now that I have GPS on my iphone. Actually though, I can pretty much memorize how to get to a place after going there once, even if I don’t recall the street names.

charliecompany34's avatar


if you paid attention in geography class like i did, you just know where the moss grows and which way is north.

some people don’t have a clue which direction they are driving or walking. you almost want to “slap” them for not realizing direction.

autumn43's avatar

I guess some of us just have that built-in GPS. Even before we got one, I could take a map and get us anywhere we wanted to go. We have driven many places, gotten lost a couple of times, but I always knew I could find our way. When my daughter was little and we got lost on a trip, it was like instant diarrhea. She acted like we were never going to find our way home! Now, I think she inherited my sense of direction because she is pretty darn good at remembering how to get places. When we did go on a trip, I was the navigator. And if it was a long trip and we took turns driving, I was the driver AND the navigator because my husband would instantly fall asleep. He was trying to find his way home from a town about an hour from here. He was plugging in the information (which he really doesn’t know how to do) into the GPS WHILE DRIVING! He called me and he said ‘It says Aberdeen, MD’. I thought for a split second “oh…just go there!” We live in MA.

I always thought it was because I was so nosy that I knew right away how to go places. I had to see and know everything about where we were going. I was always looking out the window when in the car and, I guess, taking mental notes. But I also have a photographic memory, so I think that might help too.

The reason I asked the question? My husband was totally lost about 9.3 miles from our house trying to find my daughter at her friend’s house. It was the next town over. I plugged the address into the GPS for him. I didn’t think it could have been any easier. Well, I bet even Chrissy (the name we gave the lady on the GPS) was getting upset with him!!! He called me and said ‘I’m lost.’ “where?” ‘on Woodland Street’ “Oh! Like I know where the @#$%^ Woodland Street is?? Can you give me a landmark or something!!!????” It took me 45 minutes to direct him to my daughter.

Jack79's avatar

I’m amazingly good at it. It’s probably my greatest talent, better than singing or teaching or writing songs and stories. Too bad it’s not useful anymore, because I could have discovered a tiny Aztec settlement in the Andes if someone had given me a boat and a mule in 15th c Spain. I can find any address in any country, I can find my way around any city within the first couple of days there, and when I drive in Europe I generally don’t even need a map, or hardly even look at signs anymore. I could tell you the shortest way to get from my current location (a small island in Greece) to my last permanent address (a small city in Poland). And I still remember how to get to my aunt’s place in Wales from over 30 years ago.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@gailcalled That sounds like MY husband. He has a map & a compass built into his head. Good thing, too, as I sure don’t! I can identify with both of you.

augustlan's avatar

@autumn43 Oh, my poor husband has to routinely talk me home when I get turned around. I really need to get a GPS…

RedPowerLady's avatar

I got lost in Walmart once and couldn’t find the exit. Seriously.
I have a horrible sense of direction.

I believe that it is the idea of space in American culture that influences this.
In my culture space is defined differently. So I maintain that I’m not an idiot just out of my cultural element :)

augustlan's avatar

@RedPowerLady That has totally happened to me. More than once. :(

RedPowerLady's avatar

@augustlan Thank goodness I am not alone. I’m also the person who will walk in the wrong direction toward their car every time. lol.

gailcalled's avatar

How many times have I forgotten where I parked the car? Let me count the ways.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

I got lost once looking for Outback Steakhouse , it turned out I was “outback” behind Outback….the kids had a blast with that one…..they won’t soon forget…..lil boogers.

hearkat's avatar

@gailcalled: A camera phone is very useful for remembering where you parked :-)

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