Navigating around as a blind individual you generally rely on routes. I have memorised many mental maps on how to travel to most important places I visit often.
For attending university in september I am having to add a large number of routes so I can travel solo. I had been mapping these routes out mentally for a while. I have been to the routes once or twice so repeat them in my head so when I use them again I know exactly where I should be at what point.
This week I visited one of the main routes to university with my rehab officer. Incredibly confident I could simply use the mental map I had created I zoomed off. After negotiating a few corners and crossing 2 roads I knew I should arrive at some steps. But I couldn’t find them.
I was a little puzzled and asked what was going on. Turned out there is some building work going on and all the pavements are now temporary structures in the fenced off road. Dammit just when I thought I had this down!
It is a simple change but highlights just how difficult such an occurrence can be to deal with. I only have to walk out of my way by around 10 metres but if I had encountered this on my own it could of been a few minutes for me to figure out how to navigate through this new maze.
But practice makes perfect!