I remember the first long road trip I made. My parents bought me a map and highlighted my route. It was a little tricky sometimes because the map didn’t show every little turn or where exactly an exit would be, but I figured it out.
Then came sites like mapquest which gave great directions I could print out and take with me. Of course, it was a little hard to try to read the directions while driving and they weren’t a help if I needed to take a detour or if I got lost.
Then those sites got fancier and made sure to say you weren’t just taking exit 240, but exit 240 on the left, so there was no more trying to get across six lanes of traffic at the last minute because you assumed that the exit would be on the right. And they added notes like “if you reach Park St, you’ve gone .2 miles too far.”
But then along came GPS systems like the Garmin plus directions apps on smart phones. Type in where you want to go and it guides you right through. Easy to decide to take a detour, help for when I’d get lost, and easy to find places along a route: like my obsession with stopping at Panera for lunch on a roadtrip since we don’t have one here in my little town.
I never really worry about getting lost.
But what if the wrong location is in your GPS and you don’t realize it?
On Thursday night, I was driving across the state to Charlotte so I’d be there for #DisneyontheRoad on Friday morning. Hubs programmed in both the hotel I’d be staying at and the hotel where the event was taking place, so I’d be all set.
Garmin told me to make a turn that I usually do not make. But I looked at the arrival time and thought ooooh, I like that time! Maybe this is a shortcut. And I followed Garmin’s directions.
But as I continued driving, I started second-guessing my route. I was on roads seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I saw a few signs that seemed to indicate I was heading in the total wrong direction.
And then I remembered that when I started Hubs’s car, the windshield wipers were going crazy, the radio was way up, and the heater was on: the boys had been inside it, playing around. What if they messed with the GPS and somehow set the directions to take me to somewhere Hubs had been for work? What if I end up in SC or something?
But, driving in the middle of nowhere, on teeny little roads meant there was nowhere to pull off to recheck my destination.
So, I kept driving, hoping that I could trust technology to get me where I needed to go.
But just as I was about to stop in the middle of nowhere(since there weren’t any other cars around anyway), I saw a sign for Charlotte and breathed a huge sign of relief.
Do you rely on GPS for directions or do you use another method to help you on your way?
Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.