Because pg 4 1-31-19

I am a good map reader.  This is primarily due to the fact that I have lived more in a time where navigation mostly happened with maps versus with phones.  I use the term “mostly” because navigation also, still to this day, can be achieved successfully, simply, by reading signs.
It is true that many people get anxious about travelling through an airport, but I find airports to be the easiest places to navigate in because there are signs EVERYWHERE!  There are signs to let you know what terminal and gate you are in.  There are signs to let you know where there are restrooms or lounges or eateries.  There are even signs to let you know how long it will take an average walker to reach a certain terminal or gate.
Navigating in a car, however, solely by using road signs, can be a bit trickier, especially if you are in a foreign country.   This is why I insist on always having a map handy. 
If you do a fair amount of driving in foreign countries, at some point, you will get lost.  If your vehicle doesn’t have a GPS, the question becomes when do you rely on the map and when do you rely on the signs? 
On one such occasion, my husband and I found ourselves in this very predicament.  We were returning after a long day of sightseeing and somehow, we took a wrong turn or not a turn or a road was closed… and we found ourselves on an unfamiliar road.  It was growing dark, raining heavily and I was getting tired, so I opened my handy map and took my best guess at directing us in the right direction, which, happened to be, according to the map, to stay on the very road we were travelling on.  My husband caught a sign which indicated that we should make a turn.  I insisted that the road we were on was going to be a shorter route, but truth be told, I wasn’t totally sure.  I figured, though, that if I had made a mistake, there would certainly be an opportunity to turn around and go back.
The road I insisted we take, ended up being a mountain overpass.  After nearly 20 minutes of driving up a very steep, very narrow and very curvy road, I began to panic.  There were no other cars on the road, nor any street lights.  Just staying ON the road and not driving off the side of the mountain, was a huge challenge.
Soon, it was totally dark and our ascent up the mountain seemed never ending.  I found myself clenching my hands around the car door handle and shutting my eyes tightly so I couldn’t see the next death-defying curve ahead.  Finally, after what felt like reaching the summit, we were heading back down.  I was even more terrified on our descent because I noticed that my husband seemed to be enjoying the intensity of the ride and was going faster than the snail-speed I wished him to travel at. After all, sharp turns on wet, steep roads were far more fun when coming down.
Finally, and just as I was ready to admit defeat through tears of terror, we saw a sign indicating an upcoming turn to our town.  The map ended up showing us the way and, in the end, my only mistake was in thinking there would be a place in which to turn around!
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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