Have you ever been on one of those trips, to seek out some holy land of spots, sights, terrain and all the other wonderful stuff you want to encounter whilst travelling. A trip where you’ve seen an edit where everyone looks like they are having the best time in some European city and think “I want a piece of that – let’s go there”. Only to get there and then come to a dead stop. “Where do we go now? Where’s that wall ride?” etc etc. It’s so easy to assume that just because you know a city has amazing spots that you’re just going to stumble upon them. The reality is, even if you’re in the right part of town, you could miss that sought after set up by just turning left instead of right, when it’s right there under your nose. The wonders of modern technology often ease these troubles when we are back on home soil, but nobody in their right mind is going to rinse their 3G on the continent, not unless you are prepared to eat rice and ketchup for the next month anyway.
Remember maps? Maps are wonderful objects, which in digital or non digital format depict a specific area to a chosen scale. They help with orientation and route-planning. This invaluable tool will be the saviour of your time and energy, allowing you more time to enjoy the thing it is you are looking for, and will greatly reduce the ‘this way or that way’ debate. Those who argue that it takes the fun out of exploration, well who’s to say you can’t do that on the way, I mean, a mark on a map is merely your destination, and whatever route you choose to take is up to you.
If you’ve been saving your hard earned over-time money to visit this holy land with your best friends, then don’t you think it is a good idea to plan ahead slightly? Nobody likes a schedule or an itinerary when you’re away, but that’s not what this is about, it’s just getting on Google, doing some homework and giving yourself options. If you end up in the west of a city then you can consult the map and see what’s round you to plan your next move, or you can choose a spot off the map before you leave and head right for it. It might seem like a bit of a faff at first, carrying round sheets of A4 paper, but I tell you what, you’ll soon become very attached to those things. You’ll wonder how you ever managed without!