Reflections on stepping back in time

This summer my family and I spent 5 weeks traveling in the United States and we learned that it’s difficult to revert back to old ways. Do you remember how we lived before GPS navigation systems and smart phones? When we arrived in the US we made the decision to not get a temporary phone and we forgot to unload the Brazil maps and load the US maps in our GPS. After reflecting on our experience, we don’t want to go back to life in 2004 (or whenever we started using these tools).

  • How do you respond to the rental car agent who asks you for your cell phone number. Who doesn’t have a cell phone these days? You give her a number and then she asks for your wife’s cell phone.
  • Don’t forget to ask for the standard road map that the rental car company provides.
  • Remember stopping at the gas station to get directions? We did that many times.
  • Remember printing out directions from Google maps?
  • How do you use a pay phone these days? We never tried to figure it out.
  • Imagine waiting at the airport for a friend to pick you up and you don’t have a cell phone. I had no idea when he would arrive or whether or not I was at the right place.
  • Remember being late to an event and you’re not able to call to let them know?
  • It was amazing how many times I reached for my phone in my pocket to tweet, post to Facebook, take a picture, or call someone.
I know that it can be refreshing to go off the grid for short periods of time these days, but 5 weeks was just too long.

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