In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, after the monster is rejected by the DeLacy family, he decides that the only person he can turn to any longer is Frankenstein, his creator. As all of humankind has spurned him, the creature believes that even though Victor hates him as well he might be able to appeal to the man who brought him life.
So he decides to head towards the direction of Geneva; he know of it from the papers he found in the jacket pocket of Victor's coat, which he had taken from him when he fled the laboratory. He remembers the geography lessons Felix taught to his Arabian sweetheart. The creature has a general idea that he must move southwesterly, and he uses the sun as his guide. He does, eventually, reach Geneva: the first person he meets as he approaches Victor's home is young William, who also rejects the creature, and he becomes the monster's first victim.
After the departure of the DeLaceys, the monster at first does not know where he is going to go, but he finally decides that he must find Victor, the man who had created him and the only one who might be able to help him. From perusing Victor's papers, the monster knows that Geneva was his creator's native town, so he concludes that he must go there. The monster has accumumated a rudimentary understanding of geography from observing the lessons Felix had given Safie, and he knows that the city is in "a southwesterly direction" from the location of the DeLaceys' cottage. With only the sun as his guide, Victor sets out for Geneva.
Victor is at a significant disadvantage on his journey, in that he is not familiar with the names of the towns he must pass through, nor can he ask for information from others, knowing what their reaction will be upon seeing him. Besides the sun, he has little to help him find his destination, other than a map of the country and the fact that a few unnamed incidents "now and then [direct him]." It is no surprise, then, that his journey is extremely difficult, and takes close to a year.
It is late autumn when the monster leaves the abandoned and now-destroyed abode of the DeLaceys, and for the most part, he only travels at night to avoid detection. He forges on alone through the bitter cold of winter, through days and nights when
"rain and snow [pour] around [him]; mighty rivers [are] frozen; the surface of the earth [is] hard and chill, and bare, and [he] find[s] no shelter."
When spring finally arrives, the monster witnesses a young girl who falls into a "rapid stream," and rescues her, but when her companion comes upon them, he reacts with terror, shooting the monster and inflicting a wound that "shatter[s] the flesh and bone." The monster, his sense of betrayal intensified, vows "eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind," and retreats into the woods, in hopes of recovering from his wound. After many weeks of miserable suffering, the monster manages to regain him health, and two months later, he at long last reaches his destination, Geneva (Volume 2, Chapter 9).