Is My GPS An Enabler?

Posted: February 14th, 2009 under travel.
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Pink GarminI grew up in Illinois, and Brent and I lived in Kansas for many years. The Midwest is set up like a grid–plus it’s flat–which makes it pretty easy to get around. I have lived out West as well, where all the streets are numbered. Again, it’s hard to get lost or disoriented there. It’s not so simple getting around in New England. I love living here, and I’d much rather be here than anywhere else. However, I did have to get used to the many winding and one-way roads, and the streets with three or four different names. When we first moved to Maine I actually got lost while I was out running. I had to stop a fellow runner and ask her for directions so I could find my way back home. She was very understanding and helpful. It would have been nice to have a GPS then.

When Brent surprised me one day with a GPS (pink–my favorite color), I was ecstatic. I love my GPS. It’s so nice to be able to enter in an address or a “point of interest” and be directed exactly where to go. I do yell at her (it’s a British woman’s voice) on occasion because she doesn’t anticipate heavy traffic, accidents, or businesses that have closed down. Plus she’s bossy. Overall though she’s very helpful, and I’ve never gotten lost or disoriented…at least not for long. I’ve heard her say “re-calculating” more than I care to admit after I neglected to follow her exact directions.

Yes, my GPS is very useful; however I’m afraid I’ve been handicapped by it. How will I learn to navigate properly and get to know the area if I’m completely dependent on it? I do like having the ETA for my destination right down to the minute, which is often why I turn it on. I suppose I should turn off the GPS once in a while, pay attention to my surroundings, and just drive.


  1. Don’t turn off your GPS. It will show you new and better ways of getting places. Over time you will become familiar. It might take longer, but it will be more enjoyable and less frustrating way to learn.

    Comment by brentdanley — February 14, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  2. I love my GPS. Having lived in New England most of my life I am familiar with the suburbs in which I live,but rarely traveled out of my comfort zone for fear of getting lost. I probably have missed seeing a lot of cool things because I wasn’t sure how to get there. With my GPS I have developed a “no fear” clause when I now need to go somewhere unfamiliar. Even if I miss a step it just re-routes me. There is no more worry associated with the traveling process. I do believe that even though the GPS is telling me how to get there, I do become familiar with the roads and the routes, so I am absorbing a certain sense of direction. Overall, I’m glad to live in a day where GPS is an available resource.

    Comment by Brigette — February 18, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  3. I love my GPS as well. My favorite thing about it, is that you can just go out and drive somewhere, not caring where you are, or if you’ve been there before, and the GPS will bring you right back to where you want to go when you’re done. :)

    Comment by Jason Gendron — February 18, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

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