Sense of Direction and Reading Maps

Hi Everyone,

I recently just took a road trip…flew out to the mid-west and began driving a rental car thru many states and i found that while on the freeway (near big cities) the traffic was quite intense and i had to keep on the ball… that i make the correct turns on the freeways and i was slowing down a bit and cars were behind me becoming impatient and this brought on Anxiety. I was afraid that i was going to make the wrong turn and end up lost. Trying to read a Map has never been a strong point of mine but since MAV it’s gotten worse. Other than driving into very small towns …i basically stayed on the interstate for fear if i drove into a mid to large city i would loose my sense of direction and have difficulty trying to find my way out of the city. I did visit a couple friends outside the cities and even though i found there home the inside of my head was more intense and more Motion than normal and lots of stress and anxiety was getting in the way and it boiled down to fear of getting lost. Next time i take a road trip i’m taking a friend with me. Overall the trip was enjoyable but i truly regret not driving into the middle of towns of Omaha, Des Moines, Minneapolis & Kansas City. I stayed on the outskirts.

My sense of direction in a mid to large city is truly awful! Unless i’m familar with a city…it really takes time to become acquainted. Does anyone relate to any of these symptoms?


Hi Joe,

I have no sense of direction whatsoever, it doesnt matter how often I do a certain route, I still cant direct anyone the right way. Also, if I am walking around the shops in town and going down the street one way, if I go in a shop and come out, every time I will start to go back the way I came instead of the way I am going if you get my meaning :? It happens so often that my husband has said I should go in the opposite direction to what I want to go in, to get it right.

Another joke in this house is my map reading. I turn it upside down to come back the way I went :shock:

You only have to read this post again to see there is something wrong somewhere in my brain :lol:


Joe - invest in a Sat Nav and that’ll save all ur hassles and worries.

Good on you tho for the roadie x

Muppo…that is a grand idea regarding purchasing a Sat Nav. Do you know how much they go for?

Victoria…i’m like you my sense of direction really sucks! As i recall my dad was never that good with maps so i believe some of this could be genetic. But dealing with a Silent Migraine (tension and motion in head)…when driving in unfamilar territories…meaning other cities besides the one you live in …and driving all by yourself for me i just can’t relax for fear i’m going to take the wrong turn and get a bit lost or people are on my tail cause i’m taking my time trying to figure out where my next turn is. I just can’t relax and the tightness in my head increases and i’m tensing up… and i begin to feel like crap! The Mav condition makes some things much worse for us. If i could somehow take away my Mav symptoms i bet the anxiety and fears of driving into other cities would be cut in half.



Joe, its Christine, not Victoria, there goes our brains again!

Yes, I think I inherited the bad map reading from my dad as well. I remember as a child, laying in the back of the car with my packet of dry biscuits (motion sickness) and dad had this plastic roller thing stuck on the front of the dashboard (could this have been the worlds first sat nav??) and he had all the names of the towns etc. written out by hand and mum had to roll it around so that he could see where to go.

There is definitely something in this “tension” thing. I remember going down to the coast to see about buying a cattery (years ago) and I felt awkward and tense talking to the owners, my neck was getting stiffer and as it did I got dizzier and dizzier. That day stands out as it was particularly bad.

You need someone else to do the driving :smiley:


Joe - Sat Navs have come down in price more recently so it’d be a good time to get one.

Check out any major computer or stationery shop near you and they’ll sell them. Or online to see if you can get one cheaper still.

Best Buy

Tom-tom is one brand to check out.

Good luck x

— Begin quote from “cmoc”

Another joke in this house is my map reading. I turn it upside down to come back the way I went :shock:

— End quote

Me, too! Me, too!

And I don’t have MAV. But my mom used to tell me that I could get lost trying to find my way out of a paper bag. And she wasn’t too far off. :slight_smile:


Unfortunately for me I have a very good sense of direction and good map-reading skills. This means that my husband has always relied on me to navigate while he drives. This means I get ultra-car-sick. GPS on my iPhone together with Google Maps means I rarely get lost, unless there is no signal, or unless Google Maps directions have got it totally wrong and you just KNOW they mean left turn not right…

Christine, i’m sorry i referred to you as Victoria. Please forgive me. :oops:

Muppo…i will look into the Sat Navs. Thank you. Mamma Bear…i know that i also could get lost trying to find my way out of a paper bag. :slight_smile:



I am another person that can’t find their way around. I bought a Garmin a couple of years ago, and I just love it for driving around in big cities. My favorite part about using them is that I don’t have to watch for my turn as I am driving, or figure out which lane to be in. It drastically cuts down on the head motion required for simple little things such as looking at each and every road sign and building numbers, or having to change lanes 5 times because you didn’t know which way you were going to turn, or which side of the street you destination is on. Since I got my GPS, I find driving in large cities much less draining, and that I have more energy to do things when I get there.

Believe it or not, I bought mine for a last minute trip to visit Dr Haine. 8)

Mamabear, glad I am not the only one! I will tell my family its perfectly normal to hold the map upside down on the way back! Now all I have to do is convince them it is normal NOT to use the 5th gear when driving :lol:


Hey Brian,

Thanks for the share regarding your purchase of the GPS. Sounds like a god send! I don’t know why i didn’t think of this before i left. I"m assuming Car Rentals have certain cars with this type of equipment too particularly when i go on vacation…but for a slightly higher price?! I wanted to drive thru the city of Minneapolis so bad and chickened out! I regret that i had too do this + i even wanted to drive thru the city of Des Moines, Iowa (which isn’t the biggest city in the world…but big enough for someone like me to take the wrong turn and get lost and then Panic). My partner is so good with maps…just like a natural. For me it’s always been a serious challenge and with this Vestibular Migraine it’s a double headache trying to find places in a mid to large city that you’ve never been in. Once i’m familar with a city…i’m generally pretty good.

Thanks again for everyone’s information and support.


Joe nearly all rental companies offer the hire of a Sat Nav for any vehicle and you pay a daily rate of like $10 or so.

Check the next time you need a rental xx

Thanks Muppo…i will definitely remember next time around. :slight_smile: