I have a very bad sense of direction, which is very inconvenient because my job involves being all over the place. Usually, if I don’t know where something is, I make sure to go there before my work with them actually starts, so I know how to get there and how long it takes. Otherwise I would have to leave home about two hours early on the first day, to allow for being lost.
I cannot function with a map, and I cannot function with directions like the ones above in the picture, or the ‘go left then right and after about 100 m turn left at the second traffic lights’ type.
How I do it is by landmarks. If people just say to me ‘head towards the big blue building and it is near there’ then I can find my way. Luckily there is always something unique nearby – an unusual or big tree, a particular shop, a striking or large building, a church. Or people can just point in the general direction and I go that way.
Obviously I cannot use Google maps and I don’t use gps but I do find street view very helpful. If I can see a photo of the street, then I can orient myself.
I have a friend who works with maps only. He needs a map to find his way anywhere. We went on a cruise together in Greece a few years ago and he got confused with his map but I was able to reorient us back to the ship after a day trip because of a big hotel that I noticed near the harbour when we arrived. Other times we have travelled I have always just relied on him and his map!
I am also (unlike many men) not afraid to ask for directions!