Be attentive. “Our thoughts tend to wander as we drive or walk around,” says psychologist Colin Ellard, author of You Are Here, a book on spatial intelligence. When navigating new turf, “tune in to your surroundings,” noting anything distinctive, like graffiti or a sign, that can be used as a landmark.
Look behind you. A shift in vantage point changes your perception of a place. “If you tend to lose your car in the parking lot,” turn around to see how it will look on your return.
Tell stories. Humans have always used stories as memory aids, so imagine a narrative that incorporates the sites you’re passing—a spendthrift’s shopping spree, perhaps.
Get lost. Use weekends to explore your surroundings, and even allow yourself to get lost. Maintain a playful attitude about such adventures: “You’ll find your way back eventually.”