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^ Global Positioning System? #StillLost

June 29, 2013

Do you remember when we didn’t have  the ATM-writing checks at the grocery store and waiting in long lines at the bank? Some inventions are priceless; being able to get cash out of any ATM in a foreign country still baffles me! It has revolutionized how you travel because no longer are traveler’s checks a must, or even exchanging a lot of money ahead of time. Yes, you can still do those things, but I’m always pondering why bother, just like I do when I walk past the long line at the bank in my grocery store. I find myself wanting to interview them.

Watching wind surfers, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Watching wind surfers, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Like the ATM, the GPS has changed many things, but I bet most people would argue that this invention is officially necessary. Gone are the days of glove boxes stuffed with old maps, and no longer do you have to include directions with your address on invitations. When you are traveling, the tedious task of figuring out how to get somewhere has been greatly reduced. You could carry a case for trail maps, but even those are becoming more technologically aligned. And now, even using a gps machine in your car could be referred to as a dated activity, due to the iphone invasion. I use to believe that I would never travel with my iphone, but I’m not so sure anymore.

courtesy of timeoutsingapore.com

courtesy of timeoutsingapore.com

Despite this revolutionary invention, it astounds me how my navigation skills have improved….not one bit. I never know which direction I’m traveling in. I’ve got the sun rises in the east, and sets in the west down, but quite frankly, that doesn’t cover much.

A few weeks ago, I was in Charleston, and was handed the role of navigator. Clearly, this new colleague did not know who she was working with, but I figured navigating in an unknown area is better than me doing the driving in an unknown area. My fear of being an idiot was just below the surface of my nerves, but that role was better than the alternative. Driving just isn’t a favorite activity of mine and I have a seriously hysterical driving history.

Typical Charleston Post-rain situation

Typical Charleston Post-rain situation

Name all of the unluckiest-strangest tickets to receive-I’ve got them all on my record: disturbing the peace, expired tags, studded tires past season, car on fire, no seat belt, no insurance…the list goes on. I know tons of people who have broken those same laws and never get the tickets. Don’t get me wrong, I love road trips, listening to tunes louder than I should, soaking up the sun and the breeze from the windows, but I’m much more relaxed doing that if I’m not the one behind the wheel. While in a car, cops just seem to find me. I wish I had a sexual fantasy for cops so that at least while I’m having to stumble through those conversations while pulled over, I’d have another movie running in my mind, but for the most part, I just want to tell them to fuck off. For some reason, my blood boils when I’m pulled over-whether I’m right, wrong, or in between. This aversion that I have doesn’t exist when I see them doing any other activity, but given my unlucky history, I feel like a special club of cops has been created in my name so I’m not going to go down without a respectful fight. Just the other year, I received my first warning without a ticket ever, and since then, I’ve collected a few more. I’m getting better.

My friends and family would also add to this that my driving skills leave much to be desired. I’m a clumsy person on foot, 2 wheels, 4 wheels, skis…..you name it. I somehow can create yard sales with my equipment quite easily. My driving skills combined with having to navigate simultaneously is hysterical to witness so it’s best if I only have to do one or the other. Now that I’m about to have a job where I’ll be using rental cars regularly, I think something is going to need to change, but how do I do that?

To recap, here is where I’m at:

1. I have years of navigation experience

2. Someone invented the GPS to assist my skills even further

3. I still suck

But if all of my previous years with navigation battles while moving around and traveling haven’t helped me to improve, what will? To avoid looking like an idiot in front of my boss on the next trip, I might just have to do some pre-navigation planning. I’ll look at maps from our hotel ahead of time. I’ll pretend we are going to a couple of restaurants nearby, and practice with my phone. Really?

Maybe it’s the upgrade that will save me-the day I have Siri speaking to me will solve all of my navigation problems-maybe. Isn’t that just cheating in the game? I just got the 4 though, and like all of my other phones, I’m going to beat it down to a busted metal mess. Did you know that she has been programmed to answer all kinds of questions about life? She isn’t just your GPS savior.

The other morning, I watched a Ted Talk on vulnerability, and its extreme presence within humans that have strong connections and happy lives, according to this one researcher. She alluded to the idea that we must embrace our vulnerabilities, and stop worrying so much about having control over everything. Point taken. I’m not sure how I went from my GPS skills to vulnerability in this post, but it’s Saturday, I’m drinking my awesome Kaladi coffee, and just happen to be listening to Richie Haven’s “Freedom” from Woodstock so I’m just going to roll with it.

While getting lost over and over, I’m gathering some great Eats and Grub places for your next visit to Charleston  so stay tuned for that post!

From → Travel

3 Comments
  1. aymejo permalink

    The Couch loves you and your driving technique. Cops love the Couch. What are you gonna do?

    • Laura Hilger permalink

      Ha! I still love it too much to part with it! I’m rooting for continuous improvement :-).

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