Navigating Maps, Roads and Destination in a Foreign Country

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Thanks to technology and the internet, there is a rare possibility of losing oneself in a foreign country. However, we still need to stay alert as technology is not fully reliable given its dependency on so many factors- good internet connection, phone signals, battery life etc. In this article we will look at some tips that you will find handy when you are stuck in a situation where no internet comes to your rescue. Let’s dive right in. 

  1. First things first, get a compass

Physical compass and not on your phone. Well, you can keep one on your phone as well, but we are discussing the situation where you can’t access the internet or your phone. Compasses have been handy since time immemorial for traveling to places and even discovering lots of places on the earth. There is no reason why they won’t help you in today’s time. Looking at road signs becomes way easier if you have a compass along with you and you are still new at the local language. 

  1. You knew what comes second to a compass, get a physical map

A physical map is difficult to catch on if you have never really used it, but you will get the hang of it in no time. Once you learn how to read the map then sky’s the limit. You can easily find maps at a gas station or a local bookstore. 

  1. Stock up on travel guide from your favourite author

Travel guides are wholesome. They include everything from best sunset points to best local restaurants, best dishes to try out and even best times to visit favourite local tourist destinations. However, travel guides are as good as the reviews it has, therefore pick something that is popular. 

  1. Learn key phrases

You can never find these not useful. Learn the local words for directions, modes of transportation, currencies, popular tourist places etc. You should also learn how to say numbers so that you may get a brief idea on what to expect when someone tells you the distance or the time when the train leaves the station. Also learn to say thank you and welcome in the local language as courtesy goes a long way. Nodding when you pass someone on the street and smiling when someone offers you help are small ways of showing gratitude. If you are looking to learn Haitian Creole, you can Learn Haitian Creole on Creole Tutors. 

  1. In case you are not able to communicate, draw

For this you will require a blank notebook and a pen and if not excellent at least moderately good drawing skills. Pictures are worth a thousand words and if you are not able to find a word that will communicate what you want to say, indicate it by drawing. Nowadays you will also find smart doodles on t-shirts that have various symbols. All you have to do is point and you are good to go. Either way, having a blank notebook to draw and communicate is a very handy technique. 

  1. Plan your route in advance

Giving direction to your travel in advance is a great way to avoid being lost or being completely clueless as to which location you are at. It is also useful to mark important shops or areas where you can find a payphone to communicate in case you are actually lost. You should also try to navigate the area using landmarks and not street signs since sometimes in remote areas, street signs may entirely be in the local language and you may miss out on important instructions. 

  1. Ask if someone speaks your language

Usually, people are eager to help a lost traveller however due to their lack of knowledge of your language you may be disappointed. Therefore, try asking if someone speaks your language. If people do not themselves speak, they point towards someone who does and your problem is resolved. 

Working your way in a foreign country without an internet connection can be tough but it is important to remember that if you plan it in advance, and plan it thoroughly, this experience will be worth remembering for a lifetime. Memories made in these situations tend to last forever. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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