GPS – Your Eyes to Your Destination
Maps soothe my mind every time I travel. Researching before my trip is not enough with it. Getting lost is what I dread the most. Getting lost in my country is not a big deal but it is when I am in a different place already. I cannot imagine myself not knowing where I am going and I am traveling alone – that is the most pathetic thing that can happen to me!
But, wait a second – are you thinking of map as something like a paper where you need to unfold it whenever you need to use it?
I have to admit, though, that I used paper maps before – until I have lots of them in my drawer! After you travel in that particular country – what’s the use of that paper map to you? Can you sell it in eBay? It is not like some Lonely Planet’s informational guide that somebody would be interested in. And just think of this – if you are a frequent traveler, how many maps have you had by now? Probably, you have piles of maps just sitting there inside your cabinet. Now, that’s a trash and you do not want that! Pictures of your travels are enough memorabilia for you so no need to keep those paper maps.
Then again, you still need a navigator to help you move around. This is where GPS will come in. I am not a gadget lady. For me, a simple phone that I can use for sending messages and receiving calls are enough! But as soon as I realized the ‘magic’ and ‘convenience’ of a GPS – it is just a must-bring for me whenever I travel.
I find GPS very useful in my everyday life. Even when I am just in my own country, using my GPS really helps a lot. I bought the one that I can use both for driving and walking. It is kind of expensive but it does serve its purpose – efficiently – so why regret buying it? And since then, I enjoyed traveling or going out with it.
GPS for Walking
What I love GPS is that it is not just for driving. I can also use it while walking. Some called it the pedestrian mode in their GPS. If you are not really comfortable asking for directions, you can depend on your GPS. It is especially good if you are on one of those off beaten paths. The only downside is, use it ONLY when you need it the most. Why? Depending on the GPS model, one can last for up to 4 hours. If your battery has gone low batt or you lose signal, look for a place where you can recharge it. This means, you always need to bring your charger with you. Worst case scenario, you will end up asking for direction or use the paper map included in your travel book.
In other times, this is where I turn to my iPhone for navigation guide apps.
GPS for Driving
I love driving around. There will be a time that I will just take my car outside without any specific place to go to. It is just one of my anything goes and go anywhere moments! This is where my car GPS is most useful. Since it has a voice activated guide, getting lost is not one thing I have to worry about. A 2D map image is already enough for me but In case I want to have a thorough look on the place, I can always switch on the 3D guide. I love the 3D mode just as I like using Google Maps. Additionally, I like looking for new routes. I do not like taking the conventional way of going to a certain place. If there is another route my GPS would suggest to me, I would surely grab that! Getting lost is scary but discovering a new path after getting lost is way too awesome!
And Among Other Things
Aside from the driving and pedestrian (or walking) mode, there are other modes you can use with your GPS. There is also the bus and bike mode. But, I rarely use the last two. For one, I do not really see the need to use it while inside the train or bus. There is exact destination for all the train and bus rides – so why use it? For the bike mode, I am not really a biker – simply put it! I do not even own one. What I know about driving is totally zero when it comes to biking. Admittedly and unfortunately, I don’t have a sense of balance. So, it would be totally useless for me to use the bike mode.
There are lots of gadgets out there in the market but I just do not grab everything that I think is useful. Every gadget is useful in some ways that is why they are still out there and in demand. The thing is will it be helpful to me? This is one thing I always ask myself before I buy one. Not because my friend or colleague find it functional, it will also be for me. Aside that it is a waste of money to buy a gadget that will not be really useful I also consider them as an extra baggage. I love to travel light and having some things that are not important will be totally unreasonable.
Spare my GPS here. This is one of the gadgets that I cannot leave at home. In fact, I just love getting lost with my GPS!
This very informative article was written with the great assistance of Mary Jo Tomias. A great travel writer of our time. Check out her amazing works at her blog of http://www.darealitycorner.blogspot.ca/