Andy, have you considered carrying a $100 GPS receiver with a latitude/longitude readout. Trivially easy. Prior to departure you can jot down the lat / long of a hostel from google maps, add it to the receiver and just never ever be walking or riding in the wrong direction. You will always know which direction you want to go, and exactly how far it is away.
I own a Magellan GPS, carried this for years. I had to make a decision on weight, and my GPS is heavy. I am using the GPS of my Samsung Smartphone, and have an app called Map Me. This tells me if I am walking in right direction, it would not activate on the train, too much metal I think. I will find a way to put the long and lats using my phone.
I do very little planning before entering a city. I have not got lost yet, or made any large off track decisions. Most travelers seem to enjoy the planning, the chaos, and all the anticipation. Personally, I am 100 percent sure I am going to arrive at a destination. If you realize, to have the presence of mind to take all these small video clips while in the middle of chaos is way beyond want normal travelers have the capacity to do.
What you are hearing in my frustrations is that I just do not like Europe travel, for the most part just miserable type of living, the lifestyle here in Europe is really horrible compared to the rest of the planet.
Most people invest hours in planning, that needs to be added onto the amount of time it takes to walk, or get to the hotel. I find that I spend my time reading, enjoying life, while most travelers spend 3 hours per day making plans, I spend about 1 hour, so optimally efficient. The planning is down as I arrive.
I am very different traveler, I do not consider planning a trip as enjoyable I just do the minimum, and spend my time enjoying the day.
Understood, Andy. That's an excellent reply. The frustration in the video can be a bit deceptive as regards lugging a 40 pound backpack some ??? distance at age 58. I won't even add a "but" here in reply because you do seem to know the GPS procedure.
I've relied on GPS a lot, especially in Athens where so many street signs are in Greek alphabet. I knew I needed to be on a certain street going wherever, but on a cloudy day near noon you aren't really sure which direction to start walking on that street. GPS was a huge improvement on this. Miles of walking avoided. And those uneven sidewalks and curbs, sprained ankles inevitable so miles avoided did matter.
I am not sure, but I **think** Samsung's GPS is not truly GPS. I think the cell towers are GPS located/known and the phone is deducing things according to where it is with respect to the towers.
Anyway I can remember a week in Venice (narrowest streets you will ever see) during which those narrow streets produced building blockage of GPS. So emerging into each piazza was an opportunity to figure out where you are and how far is it back to whatever waypoint was set or how far to the next place you wanted to go -- because it's not an easy place to walk anywhere and legs do give out..