The hardest part about travelling abroad on your own in a country where a limited number of people speak English is being lost. It is the most horrible, helpless feeling anyone can experience; the fact that you can’t rely on a taxi as they’re are hardly any available and the ones that are refuse to drive you any longer than 20 minutes; the feeling that all your family is thousand of miles away and you have no access to the Internet, no map and the fact that the phone is running out of battery. The large blisters on the back of your foot from walking around aimlessly for hours in the heat doesn’t help either and it’s becoming harder and harder to keep calm. Sounds like it’s from a horror film, right? Take a wrong bus, walk down the wrong street, or get off at the wrong station can all lead to disaster. Today for the first time in my life I felt that feeling and I can assure you it was emotionally draining. I have been lost a number of times so far but not this badly. The thing that kept me going and helped me out were these tips that I live by:
1) If you are lost, STOP. Don’t carry on walking and work out your next move rationally.
2) Keep calm. A very hard thing to do especially in the certin circumstances. I have spoken to numerous people on my trip so far who have broken down into panic attacks because they’ve been lost and said that it has only made it worse
3) Once you are totally lost the best thing to do is to make your way back to an origin point you can remember that had a large proportion of people. These places have usually got some relatively good infrastructure in place. If the most people you can find is in a small cafe at the side of the road then so be it. Take time to relax and then plan your moves. Wherever you are, you should be able to find a place to sleep and so if its getting late book yourself into a room.
4) Find Internet access! The most useful tool when you are lost and it has saved me countless times. If you don’t have a phone offer to pay to use the computer at the local place you are at.
5) Remember that just because you are lost, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
6) Money can get you out of any situation and that’s why it is so important to have different sources.