I first got my driverís license (and for a few years that followed),
I often hopped in the car with absolutely no idea where I was
that may not be completely accurate.
might have a movie in mind. Maybe something to eat. Most of the
time, I knew what I planned on doing. Knew who I was going to
pick up and have in the car with me. And yetÖ even then, I didnít
always know exactly where I was going to go.
my hometown, when I got my license, there were at least two movie
theaters within a ten-to-fifteen-minute drive. Expand it to a
forty-five-minute drive and we could include more than five movie
theaters that I visited at least once per year in those days.
these theaters offered all their movies at different times. So,
you might find the same movie playing at 6:45pm, 7pm, 7:10pm,
7:30pm and 8:15pm. Once you figured out what time everyone could
be ready to go, and whether or not you planned to eat before or
after or at all, you might be able to narrow down the options
a bit. But the basic start of the process was the same: when you
asked a friend if they wanted to see a certain movie, the agreement
to head out had not made the decision of where you were going.
thatís just a movie.
you first get your license, you want to explore. And the only
navigational tool beyond your memory and experience back then
was something printed, like a copy of the official Arrow Street
Guide. There was no GPS or app recalculating after every
turn. If you went out, turned right and then left, drove fifteen
miles and turned again, there was a good chance you could get
was a magical time. One where getting found almost always involved
continuing to drive until you recognized a barn, a shopping plaza,
or the sign for a familiar highway.
still think AAA is amazing. I donít use them as much for their
travel services as I used to, but membership has its advantages.
One of those was asking for a Triptik to be made specific to your
journey. Copies of maps and more could also be found. Many of
these services are still available today.
mother impressed me as well. When we went to college, she put
together a drive guide of sorts. It listed rest areas and mile
markers. Forget the signs on the side of the thruway, you could
just glance at her listing and know how far away you were from
the next rest stop and what food they offered.
a blind faith that goes into things today. Less learning and piecing
things together. More fire up the app, plug in where you expect
to go and youíre off.
always work out for the best.
on a trip to Las Vegas, we decided to include the Hoover Dam and
Grand Canyon. Great extras on our vacation, and stunning beauty.
much as I trust my GPS, part of my routine for any first-time
drive is usually to glance at a map or atlas. I like knowing if
anything like a city or alternative highway might be running along
the way, in case we experience a craving for food (or a traffic
jam that needs avoiding). On this trip, a portion of the legendary
Route 66 was there to be found. And the GPS was never going to
suggest driving it.
time, we were including a wedding as part of a trip to Florida.
The friends involved had selected a location that really didnít
have a physical, specific address. It took a GPS (no result),
online search (no result) and an app (no result) to realize this
was going to be a bit of a challenge. Eventually, we did find
an app that included the location. We arrived safely and had a
thing about the app that had the details. I used it for the rest
of the trip. Enjoyed it. Got back home though and didnít need
it. So, I didnít open it.
apparently thought I was still in the location where I last used
it. Orlando. So, for a week I kept getting alerts for traffic,
police activity, severe storms and more popping up on my phone
while being described as in my area. As good as the app wasÖ and
isÖ you could make a solid argument that it had no clue where
lost once in a while is a good thing. I donít recommend it often,
and absolutely will suggest you bring some water along with you.
But it keeps you aware of whatís happening, provides you with
new experiences, and often delivers a bit more accuracy than suggesting
you turn right at the next light in three-tenths of a mile.