GPS World Traveler - Why did I choose this name?
Dancing At the End of the World - Sangres, Portugal
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.
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.
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...
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
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.
Barbara aka GPSWorldTraveler
Next stoppa Kauai (2011)/Italy (2012).