Tips to Avoid Getting Lost in Palestine

wall-bethlehem-3Travelling alone to Palestine or a foreign country can feel  scary, even before you consider the  possible language barriers. When travelling to Palestine, getting lost can seem especially intimidating considering you likely will not have access to the internet or GPS services to find your way. However, there are several tips to help you  avoid getting lost in Palestine while finding your way to Hebron and during excursions through the region.talha1

The first and possibly most important strategy to avoid getting lost is to talk with anyone and everyone in Palestine. It can be incredibly hard to navigate a new environment, regardless of where you are traveling. Traveling in Palestine can be particularly challenging because of the language barrier and the general lack of street signs. However, most  Palestinian people are more than willing to offer a helping hand if you ask for directions.IMG_3238

Most Palestinians can speak some English, and even those who struggle with English usually try to help by using a blend of Arabic and any English they know to point you in the right direction. Often times when a local cannot verbally communicate with you how to get somewhere, they will offer to take you there themselves. Asking locals for help is truly the best way to avoid being helplessly lost, so do not  be afraid to ask for help and talk to strangers. Locals are always delighted to help and will often take the opportunity to welcome you to Palestine.IMG_7298

Secondly, making an effort to memorize local landmarks can save you many hours of wandering around the city. As previously mentioned, most streets do not have street signs, so referring to an address might not be helpful. Additionally, many buildings in Palestine are styled very similarly, so it might initially be difficult to differentiate one part of town from another. Therefore, remembering  notable landmarks can help you figure out where you are and help to guide you to where you are going. Once you have picked out notable landmarks like restaurants, shops, or the minaret of a mosque, finding your way home and exploring new areas will become much easier.IMG_3068

Finally, researching the route you plan on taking before you embark on your adventure can help you avoid getting lost and frustrated while travelling around Palestine. Make sure to download a map on your phone, because without access to cellular data, maps will have to be downloaded prior to your departure to ensure you have access during your travels.

Travelling in Palestine is incredibly rewarding and provides the opportunity to learn a great deal about the history and culture of the region. However, due to the language barrier and  unfamiliar environment, the prospect of getting lost can feel stressful. By using these tips, you can avoid wasting time navigating these new places and enjoy your travels to the fullest extent.