After 17 years, my husband and I decided that our family of four had outgrew our tiny bungalow, so while checking out new neighborhoods one day we found the perfect place about 12 kilometers south of our current home. This unfortunately meant that our youngest daughter, 12 years old at the time, would have to enroll in a new school. To add to her dismay, we didn’t take possession of our new home until the second week of September, which also meant that she would have to take two busses and a train for the first week until we moved.

So, the week prior to the first day of school she and I navigated the trip, first on one bus, then the train, then the second bus, followed by about a 15 minute walk. It seemed pretty straight forward, and she was happy and confident she could make the journey on her own.

The first day of class arrived and … I picked up my phone to a distraught young lady saying “I’m lost mommy”. We had carefully plotted her journey the week prior so I was surprised to hear her crying on the other end of the phone. In an effort to ease her worries and because I navigate the world by landmarks, I said “just walk back to our new house and then turn left and keep walking until you see your new school”. However, I didn’t consider that the way a person interprets “turn left” depends on which way they are facing. Long story short, she walked for more than 30 minutes in the wrong direction before a policeman stopped to ask her if she was alright and then kindly took her to school. I am guessing that arriving in a squad car one hour late was not her idea of a great start in a new school.

Needless to say, my friends and family know better than to consult me when they require directions, however, using landmarks to navigate the world helps you appreciate your surroundings perhaps just a little bit more than others do.

Pam W – Coril Holdings Ltd.

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