Getting Lost: The Best Way to Find Your Way

Sarina Klein
September 29, 2016

I’ve always found it kind of funny that when people get lost somewhere and then they end up coming across the place where they got lost at later on, they usually say something like “oh I know where I am; this is where I got lost that one time.”

Now that might just be something I tend to say/do because I have been lost on more than one occasion but I feel like other people understand the struggle.

In fact, sometimes my parents say that they’re worried about me because I never really seem to know where I am but I don’t think that’s entirely correct. I know that I don't have the best sense of direction but not knowing where I am isn’t the problem because I know exactly where I am.

I’m right here.

The real problem is trying to get from where I am to where I want to go and that’s when things can kind of start of going downhill for me. Now, as I’ve gotten older and have spent more time driving around in cities, I think I’ve become much better at finding my way around.

And for those times I did end up getting a little lost, I could always just pull out my phone and open up google maps and find my way again.

However, being in Nantes, I don’t have a data plan on my phone so google maps will not work. That, along with the fact that the streets in the city are not set up in a grid pattern with letters and numbers like many cities in the U.S., have made finding my way around a little more difficult at times.

For the most part though, I think I’ve done a pretty good job navigating my way around city center and have pretty much mastered the public transportation system which is essential for getting to and from my house; however, we all have those days where things just don’t go quite as you plan and you make one wrong turn and then end up getting lost.

For me, this day was a couple Fridays ago when I tried to meet up with my friends for dinner. We didn’t end up meeting at the original location so my friends asked me if I could meet up with them at the Cathedral, which is a huge and centrally located (and not to mention absolutely stunning) landmark in the city. I figured that this would be easy enough since I was already in city center and (thought) I had a pretty good idea of where it was from where I was currently located. So with all of that in mind, I continued towards what I thought was the direction of the Cathedral.

And for a while, I knew that I was going in the right direction because I remembered that my daily bus route stops near the Cathedral and I had a good sense of where that general area was.

When I arrived at that part of town, which is where the city’s fair is taking place right now, I came to a big intersection, where I had to choose one of maybe three different streets to continue down and when it finally came down to making a selection, I chose the wrong turn.

I’m not sure what I did exactly because looking back on that experience, I was really close to the Cathedral when I was by the fair. And not only that but this Cathedral is massive so the fact that I totally missed it is both funny and a bit sad.

Anyway, after taking that wrong turn, I ended up taking an unexpected but overall very nice tour of the city. The good thing is that I had visited these different parts of the city before so when I came close to another landmark I recognized, I knew where I was but still couldn’t figure out how to get to where I wanted go.

At one point I ended up in a neighborhood that I had visited earlier that week and once I realized how far I had gone, I had that moment of “wow I’m really lost.”

After following street signs back to towards the center of town, I finally saw what looked like a cathedral in the distance and with a bit of relief I walked towards it. As I got closer to this cathedral I had a little bit of doubt that maybe, just maybe, this was the wrong one (turns out there are couple cathedrals in the city), but I decided to ignore that hunch and continue onwards anyway. Then, as luck would have it, after walking all the way there, I realized that I was, in fact, at the wrong cathedral.

At this point, I was a little upset with myself and eventually gave in and asked some people for directions, in French, and finally after making a nice big loop around the city, I arrived at my destination.

As frustrating as this experience was at the time, looking back on it, it was kind of funny and I’m glad that I had it because now I am much more familiar with the city. Not only that, but I have become more comfortable asking people for help. If I had asked for directions when I first seemed confused on how to get to the Cathedral, my life probably would have been a little bit easier that day. Because while it may sound a bit cliché, sometimes you need to get a little lost to find your way around, and sometimes you need help from people along the way in order to guide you in the right direction.  

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Sarina Klein

<p>Hello everyone! My name is Sarina and I from California but attend the University of Portland. I am&nbsp;currently&nbsp;studying&nbsp;Organizational Communications and French. I love to explore new places, whether that be a new country or a new coffee shop. Additionally, I love all things Disney and Harry Potter related and I&nbsp;am known for occasionally&nbsp;bursting out into song (especially camp songs).&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>

Home University:
University of Portland
Francophone Studies
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