Last weekend I had to ferry my daughter and her friend to a conference at National Harbor. I had never been to National Harbor. Knew by the name that it was most likely near water, but that was about it for my location knowledge.
On the first trip, I followed Mapquest. Per usual, it took me along a route which, though it got me there, also took me many other places I did not need to go and wasted a fair amount of time. I made my way back via a couple of construction detours.
On the second trip, I went way out of my way, using familiar routes, but still wasting an enormous block of time. But, at least, I knew where I was the entire time.
On the third– and final– trip, (for which I had a very small window of time) I relied on data I had garnered on my two previous attempts and a half-remembered route I had used to get to that area some twenty years ago; I made the round trip in a third of the time.
As I made my way home, I thought about how much this exercise mirrors my life: I try something new using information I have sought, only to find, as the anvil falls on my head, that experience proves the better teacher.
There ain’t no way but through.