If you have ever read a travel blog before, you have most likely heard the advice that, in order to truly learn your surroundings, you must first get lost in a foreign place.
While getting lost will absolutely show you parts of the area you would have never seen otherwise, it isn’t always an enjoyable experience not knowing your bearings when you’re in an unfamiliar area. It not only causes you unnecessary stress, but it could put you in serious danger.
You are not always going to have access to Wi-Fi – or even understand the language – so it’s important that you know a few tricks for how to explore a new place without getting lost:
Find an elevated place.
Maps are essential when traveling, but they aren’t as helpful as being able to see significant portions of an area in real-life. Find an elevated place to take in the surrounding area and pay attention to any major landmarks or neighborhoods.
Take the tour.
No traveler ever wants to admit that they signed up for a tour because of the tourist-y stigma that is attached to it. However, taking a tour is the best way to familiarize yourself with an area, which will benefit you when you are exploring it on your own later.
Find a landmark near where you are staying.
Every area should have some sort of landmark that stands out. When you locate one that is near where you are staying, you can use that as a guide for what direction you should go to get to where you need to be.