Some people do not know which way is which. By this, I mean some people are directionally challenged, in that they do not know which way is north, south, east, or west. I am thankful not to be one of these people. I love maps, reading maps, plotting my course, navigating on land and sea, and generally speaking, I know where I am going before I get there. When I am going to an unfamiliar place, I consult my globe, a map (paper or electronic), or any available source to learn about the area and its surroundings prior to my arrival. I guess I have earned my initials: M A P! I have many friends who have no idea of where they are, not to mention where they are going, and they rarely hesitate to ask me, “How do I get to your house?” when the house, of course, is located in the same place it was the last 10 times they visited. (As an aside, I am not including people who are directionally challenged because of any medical or psychological limitation. I am referring only to people who would rather inconvenience those around them by asking, repeatedly, for directions instead of using the myriad of navigational resources available.) I do, on occasion, get lost. When this happens, however, I know to look at the sun, if it is daytime and no other resource for orienting myself is available, in order to find my way. I have, from time to time, been in the presence of someone who argues about the direction we are traveling, usually, of course, when we are lost, and who, upon being shown the sun as a helpful reminder of our direction, still cannot accept that we are on the wrong path. When this happens, I ask the disoriented person to humor me by turning the car in the direction I believe we should go and, if we don’t reach our destination with this method, we can try it another way. Needless to say, when I am “humored” in this manner, we arrive at the place we need to go, sometimes, on time! There are many, many resources available these days to know where you and I are going. So, get going and know where you’re going!
A frustration I have with the tech tools that tell us where to go these days is that they often don’t tell you the big picture. More and more, they provide step by step directions that reveal themselves only as you get to each waypoint. Though this is helpful, I prefer to have a big picture orientation to the journey. I want to know the route. In knowing the route, stops along the way often stand out and can be accommodated in the travel plans. In a trip we took last year, I was able to see that our route would take us near a place with a destination that we’ve been wanting to make – The Big House Museum in Macon, GA. It was not directly on the path, but close, and we were able to route ourselves there because we studied where we were going before striking out. To quote yet another song, this one, by RUSH, “the point of the journey” is not to arrive. Well, sometimes it may be when one has to get from point A to B as quickly as possible. But, many times, knowing where you are going allows the journey to be more fun, more educational, or more relaxing. And, knowing where you are going does not preclude taking detours along the way to explore the unexpected. This idea is probably true about life, as well as travel. But, not to digress, and back to the point, business wise, we have found that at least some training or prompting is required for employees with little travel experience of their own. Not only does looking at a map, even on a phone or computer, put things in perspective, but it helps one consider alternative routes which might be preferable due to traffic or other travel problems. Doing so under the panic and stress of a major traffic tie up is not a way to impress anyone, or to arrive ready to work, or play.