What if paying close attention to the environment around you was a matter of life and death?

Without convenient technology to rely on my ‘mental mapping’ got some much-needed exercise as I first touched ground on Asian soil. With the new hobby of getting lost, leaving a mental breadcrumb trail was critical for survival—or at least a bed.

The value of this skill was confirmed after hopping in a non-English speaking tuk-tuk cart and intuitively pointing us through Bangkok’s inner soi streets back to my hostel. My inner-GPS went something like this:

Mental-Map-Directions.jpg

The Beauty of Finding Your Way

Exercising your internal navigation simply means being aware of surroundings and generating your own internal pictures of the world.

There’s a lost richness in actively tuning into the physical world and having a greater awareness of your environment. As a result, you’ll have more spontaneity in how you get from A to B G, you’ll have clearer memories about the places you go, and your backpack doesn’t get stolen because you’re more aware of your surroundings.

That said, I’m looking forward how to reintroduce Google Maps so it’s not competing with my mental processing but actually exercises this primal cognitive skill.

Here’s to our inner Viking who gets from here to there by way of stars and winds.