Get Lost!

Warning: Do not attempt this activity if you have a poor sense of direction, do not know how to read maps, the idea of this activity makes you nervous, or all three.

Ran a few too many errands and missed the chance to get your baby home for his/her nap? Intentionally taking a driving nap? Why don't you try to get lost?

I've done this several times now, and I have quite enjoyed it. Start out from a place you know, like a shopping center or your neighborhood, and venture out further than you have before. Take a road that you've always wanted to explore.

The point is to make yourself more familiar with your surroundings and learn new ways to navigate your town and neighboring communities. Ideally, this would also be a pretty drive for you to look at as well. It challenges your brain to "upload" more "maps" to your current repertoire.

If you don't have confidence that you can retrace your steps (figuratively), make sure you have maps or a driving guide in your car so you can pull over and get un-lost once you've had enough fun getting lost.

Try streets with names like "Hillcrest," "Sea View," "Mountain Road," or "Ridge." Any street with "view" or "canyon" in the name is promising. Streets that are names of trees, like "Pine," and "Spruce," can also be scenic.

Go see what you can see! Maybe there's some beautiful lookout or views that you've never realized are close to you because you were afraid to get lost.

Also make sure you have your cell phone, and don't drive out any further than you're comfortable with. Make sure to turn around after a half an hour (more or less, or half the length of baby's estimated nap), so that you can find your way home -- or make a loop that begins and ends near your house -- so that baby doesn't wake up in the middle of nowhere near close to home.

You want to have an enjoyable drive, add some street maps to the GPS in your brain, and get baby a little more sleep.

Let me know if you try it!


The Egel Nest said...

I LOVE this post...we are a road tripping family...(have a two week road trip to the southwest in 2 months all planned) But I love the idea of just going!

Although, street names in Chicago tend to lie...Hillcrest and ridge view...usually mean very little... :)

The Egel Nest

dawn224 said...

Dude, I do this frequently, and thank Gott for the GPS b/c this place is a total mess to navigate....

Cathy said...

Yup - I was going to say that (what Egel Nest said). Our street names mean very little. Of course I grew up in a town with a Hillcrest Dr., Hillcrest Ct., Hillcrest Ln., Hillcrest St., you get the idea...and then there were the Hillviews....
I love nap drives - so long as both boys stay asleep, but I prefer to drive fast on the tollway. Three bucks for a nap? I'm willing to pay that!

Madam Crunchypants said...

When I lived in Vancouver I moved about 16 times in 6 years. Every time I moved, I did this, to familiarize myself with the new neighbourhood and figure out driving times. It's probably one of my favourite things to do to destress.

Unknown said...

Interesting way to deal with sleeping baby in back. I never would've thought of anything but a stream of profanity. Who knew there were other options?

Anonymous said...

I've so done this... quite often!

Although, I must agree with others (Egel Nest and Cathy) on the street names... they can be very misleading.

Be warned too, if you have more than one child... one could fall asleep, but the others fight the sleep. Not a very pretty scene... especially if you're half hour away from home. Might want to know where the nearest playground/mall/etc. is at all times!

Great post! :)

Unknown said...

I don't do this on purpose but it does happen to me. I love OnStar!

Al_Pal said...

Hooray for neighborhood exploration!

Anonymous said...

what a great idea! i'll have to do that to learn my new neighbourhood when i move to the other end of the city in February!

ImpostorMom said...

This is totally how I learned my way around when I moved here 11 years ago for college. (god, i'm old!) I can still remember the day that I found the Target from what seemed like some random far off road, one I drive down all the time now.

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