Ancient travelers observed nature to guide them to their destination. They depended on the position of the sun, moon, and stars as reference points. They tracked the wind. They examined ground and foliage to trace water sources.
Today we have computerized maps and guidance systems to talk us through strange surroundings, or we can access quick text messages to ask others who know.
Avatar’s world unfolds one view of technology overload. The military is completely dependant on their machines from breathing livable air, to industry, protection and travel. Without their machinery they are virtually helpless on this strange planet. And yet they see themselves as conquerors, as an advanced people, who openly disdain the native population.
But they are locked in their steel worlds and unable to navigate or explore without taking life risks. They pre-set their radius maps, emotionally and physically, and stay hostage in a false sense of safety. They follow programmed sight. Until they reach the floating mountains with magnetic force that sends all their instruments askew, and they have to fly by eye sight. Watchful. Careful. Really seeing the land around them. Involved in beauty and danger side by side.
Choose a travel destination for your character. Is it familiar territory or new? Will she jump in her car and just go? Or pre-plan every step for every possible emergency. Are her precautions common sense or anxiety ridden? Examine her attitude as she approaches each marker en route, and show your reader how she perceives her trip.