Don’t just get there. Arrive!

(actual GPS product tag lines)

I am infatuated with my husband’s new toy, a low-end Garmin GPS. DH has a MUCH better, bigger higher-end model that is waterproof for his new bike. That one has mostly stayed in the box, this not being the best riding weather, even assuming he had to time to indulge (he doesn’t).

I don’t think the little Garmin has been back in it’s box since he got it last month.

I have been scarred by years and years of poor map experiences. Many traumatic events involved a map that said the road went >>> this way, but the road in reality (if it was there at all) went ˆˆ or << instead. Other times the name of the street would change for no apparent reason. Mostly there wouldn't be any visible street sign anywhere. Good luck and God help you!

I would arm myself with multiple maps and meticulously plan out new routes only to be foiled by road construction or destruction detours. Whenever possible I would scout out a new location in the daytime before I needed to find it in the dark. I got hopelessly lost on the Staten Island subway once, and that only has a single track! I would suffer the most awful panic and anxiety attacks whenever it looked like I was going to be lost. When the kids were little I tried to hide this but they figured it out quickly enough. If mom turns off the radio and white knuckles the steering wheel, it’s a good idea to be _very_ quiet.

Part of the reason for the trauma is that every curve, every intersection was a new decision. Following the “logical” route was not a native concept to someone born in Michigan where all the roads are gridded, and going around the block meant right angles and a finished square. Up in Massachusetts, it is distinctly possible that you _can’t_ go around the block. They liked curls, squiggles, and narrow twisty roads. They brag that most roads are paved-over cow paths (and they brag about this?). While it makes for interesting and gorgeous scenery, it makes it damned difficult to correct a navigational error.

Now contrast those regularly occurring nightmares with my recent jaunt down to NJ. I hooked up the Garmin, and went where it said, even when it made no sense to me. I totally released all my worry and fear and trusted that little gizmo to get me where I needed to go. And it did. Amazing!

Advertisements