GPS World Traveler - Why did I choose this name?

Dancing At the End of the World - Sangres, Portugal

Dancing At the End of the World - Sangres, Portugal
Dancing At the End of the World - Sangres, Portugal | Source

It just dawned on me that many of you probably don’t know why I have latched onto the name GPSWorldTraveler.... well here is my story and our evolution.

A long time ago, a long time ago, a time before the dawn of hand held computers my son and husband loved technology. Although my son now works for Microsoft, Gary and I have always been Apple fans. We bought the first Apple product sometime around 1982. It was “The 128 Portable” :) and have had an Apple computer in our home ever since.

At best I find technology a bothersome tool and at every opportunity I resist - much like a donkey who has its feet dug into the dirt.

Typical with this pattern, my first experience with a GPS system was met with hostile resistance. I love maps. I love navigating. I am happy doing those things... and besides “What in the heck is a GPS, anyway”?

The turn around came when Gary and I were visiting my sister Jo in Washington DC in 2007.

Suddenly as the two of them were having the time of their life plotting routes using the GPS, I realized I was really enjoying my self not being involved with maps or “turn right now” or “that was the off ramp we needed to be on” when the light bulb went on - this tool could be amazing... especially if one kept a few things in mind.

In 2008 I wrote nine articles about our experiences using a GPS and how this tool added to our fun, enjoyment and spontaneity while reducing stress, fear and anxiety while traveling.

In 2009 shortly after Gary retired we planned our first trip to Europe. We decided to travel for 3 months and see France, Spain and Portugal. Neither of us had a clue that 3 months was a long time... all we knew was that we had just spent the previous two years facing a lot of challenges - and that a perspective shift on life needed to occur. We wanted out of “Dodge” and felt that this trip would put a period on a chapter of our life and an exclamation point on the next.

Gary spent months planning our trip. I didn’t.





We stayed at the apartment on the tip of the bluff.  It was amazing place to stay, a quick train to Lisbon and so many places to explore. Estorial, Portugal
We stayed at the apartment on the tip of the bluff. It was amazing place to stay, a quick train to Lisbon and so many places to explore. Estorial, Portugal | Source
My friends in Mijas, Spain.
My friends in Mijas, Spain. | Source
Gary and Garrett exploring San Sebastian, Spain
Gary and Garrett exploring San Sebastian, Spain | Source
Yes, the Eiffel Tower.  Greg was driving us around Paris when he stopped in the middle of the street and said - get out and take your pictures.  With horns blaring Gary got this photo.
Yes, the Eiffel Tower. Greg was driving us around Paris when he stopped in the middle of the street and said - get out and take your pictures. With horns blaring Gary got this photo. | Source

I knew when we were leaving - when we were returning and that we would be spending a month in each country.

Then I learned that time is such a funny thing. While in the planning stages of our trip the three months time traveling didn’t seem excessive, it seemed appropriate... however, up until this trip our longest holiday was two weeks and we had felt the most comfortable time gone from home was 10 days. To this day I still can't figure out why three months seemed such a correct amount of time to be gone.

Then another quirky ralization happened while we were in the midst of our three months of travels ... it dawned on us that 3 months is not equal to 12 weeks but is actually 13 - some how in Europe we gained a week.

Lordy, who teaches math these days? Sometime during the decades of our lives you would have thought this fact would have been stashed under important details :-0

So we pick up the car in Montpelier and drove to our hotel without incident... of course using our GPS.

For thirteen weeks we navigated solely with a GPS and Gary’s route planning... we drove through the mountains, coastal regions and back roads of France, Spain and Portugal - we were in the teeniest villages on the windiest back roads with no workable language skills for any of the countries; NO MAPS or European travel experience and always completely in uncharted waters.


We began calling our GPS “Missy” after a few days. And believe me when I say she became more important to Gary than I at times. “Missy” led us on great adventures, never taking the same route twice and always the road less traveled. Sometimes it was fun. Sometimes it was scary. Sometimes I wanted to strangle both she and Gary. Through the three months of travel “Missy” became our traveling companion, our guide and a constant source of amusement, consternation and conversation.

Again for our last trip to the UK we booked a seat for “Missy”. Gary this time route planned and used Google Map and Trip Advisor. He figured out a way to input coordinates and photos on to our GPS so we actually had some knowledge about where we were going and what we were going to see...


Driving up to Edinburgh, we took a detour and stopped at Berrick Upon Tweed.  It has a walkable wall around the whole city - this is just one little thing we saw in our two hour stroll.
Driving up to Edinburgh, we took a detour and stopped at Berrick Upon Tweed. It has a walkable wall around the whole city - this is just one little thing we saw in our two hour stroll. | Source
Near Sea house, England we went to four castles all very distinct and magical.  This was located near the sea - our only companions that day were the local sheep.
Near Sea house, England we went to four castles all very distinct and magical. This was located near the sea - our only companions that day were the local sheep. | Source
Cramond Island was another stop on our way up to Endinburgh.  It was wonderful walking on the Roman pathway to the island and then having the pleasure of an outdoor cafe.
Cramond Island was another stop on our way up to Endinburgh. It was wonderful walking on the Roman pathway to the island and then having the pleasure of an outdoor cafe. | Source
Lake District, England is mystical and magical.  This day we went to see another stone circle and were met with amazing people.
Lake District, England is mystical and magical. This day we went to see another stone circle and were met with amazing people. | Source

During this holiday we bought a UK map in Edinburgh - YEAH and had a workable knowledge of all the languages spoken in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. :) The only real challenge we faced this time was driving on the left side of the road and unfortunately “Missy” had no good advice in this arena.

To date we have used our GPS in travels in over 25 states including Hawaii; Mexico both coasts, Bimini (not really necessary), UK and Europe. It has become a beloved and valued traveling companion. It allows us the freedom to roam without getting seriously or dangerously lost. It provides us security knowing that we can always find “home”. And it has become quite fun addition to our travel experience.

If anyone is interested in doing some road less traveled tours, I have my original 9 articles posted on our website WWW.GPSWorldTraveler.com . However, sometime in the next few months I will re-post them here. Perhaps you will discover a tip or two that will be useful for you in your travels.

And if anyone would like a hard copy of the book, "What the Heck is a GPS?" let me know as I have a few copies left.

Ciao Bella,

Barbara aka GPSWorldTraveler

Next stoppa Kauai (2011)/Italy (2012).

Comments 10 comments

Allene 5 years ago

Good show! Makes me want to buy a GPS!!


michael ely profile image

michael ely 5 years ago from Scotland

Hi GPSWorldTraveler, A really good, interesting Hub and i enjoyed the great photographs.

Michael.


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

Thanks Michael, But, seriously,how could you not take great photos while in Scotland? The country is so beautiful.


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 5 years ago

The other great thing about a GPS is the warning beeps when you approach speed cameras!


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

Thanks for the information - I didn't realize that was what the GPS "beeping" was about :-)


mannyrolando profile image

mannyrolando 5 years ago

I really enjoyed this hub... sounds like you had wonderful experience... and I don't blame you for your love of this helpful device! I look forward to reading your other hubs!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this gallery of gorgeous photographs. I love maps, too. And I love a good GPS. And I love to travel. So we have much in common.

I very much enjoyed reading your story. You are surely well-traveled.


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

James, you left such kind words - thank you. I too will enjoy reading your stories as well... by the by anyone who loves maps, traveling and GPS is "Aces" in my book!


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 5 years ago from New England

Hi GPSWorldTraveler,

Great hub! My mom gave me her old Garmin when she bought her TomTom. I have yet to use it. Now I am reassured that it may be a good idea for me to use now and then. May try it out when my husband and I take our daughter to N. Conway, NH in September.

Have been to Spain, England, France, Greece, and several other countries. Enjoyed the reverie of your gorgeous pictures.


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

Seafarer Mom, Thank you for the feedback and thoughtful comments. Glad to hear that you may give your garmin a go... personally I think if all you did was set a way home point before you left in the morning you would find it amazing how nice it was to explore the whole day and get to your end destination "un-frazzled". Never been to NH - hope you post some pictures and tales of your adventures.

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