Hello from Norway! At this very moment I’m sitting in my hostel room in Oslo congratulating myself on a job well done.
I’ve been using Google maps on my phone to navigate my way around the city, and it’s been working well so far. Until today. Today, perhaps because of the cold, my phone died as I was wandering around the city centre. A good half an hour walk from my hostel.
Now, because I’d walked there navigating with my phone, I had no idea how to get back. My attention had been fixed firmly on the screen, on following that little blue line and the arrow that represented me, so I hadn’t actually paid any attention to my surroundings. Consequently, I was then stuck in the middle of Oslo.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place to be stuck in. Cold it may be, but Oslo is a beautiful city. On the sea front, little balls of snow rolled across the ground like tumbleweed, making the scene a magical one. But my ability to appreciate it was dampened by the realisation that I was lost. But I rooted around in the dusty depths of my mind to find the courage and brain power that I hadn’t needed before, and I slowly managed to find my way back. All by myself. No Google maps, no map of any kind. Just me and my memory.
I think it’s dangerous to rely too much on technology, as I found out both today and during my trip around Belgium. Both times when my phone’s navigation failed me, I found that I was far more capable at finding my own way than I’d realised. What Google maps does is impressive, but if you’re going on a trip then I recommend that you try navigating the old fashioned way.
I know, the task seems like a daunting one, but I’m feeling particularly confident today. I just found my own way back across a foreign city with limited knowledge of the route. I feel like I could rule the world. Trust me, that memory of yours is probably much better than you think it is.