I happened to be of that generation that grew up along with technology. I was in high school when the iPhone was released, effectively changing the way we travel – forever. In fact, the same year the iPhone came out, I traveled to Europe for the first time, navigating the streets of Paris completely on my own.
Not many people had smartphones and we didn’t have Google Maps.
Instead of carrying around a large map that told everyone you were a tourist, I actually drew my own maps. I made stars showing where I wanted to go and drew lines for streets, writing their names nearby.
I wish I kept these little hand-drawn maps – I probably made a dozen or so. They were memories from a time when I had to look up the direction of traffic ahead of time to know which way was north or south after exiting a subway.
Now I can just look at the little blue dot on my Google Maps app and see which direction I need to start walking.
Google Maps has forever changed the way I travel and for the better.
I don’t need to draw a map anymore, I can blend in looking at my iPhone and pretend I’m a local reading a text!
It’s truly amazing to think about all the roads mapped on the internet. I’ll never forget the time a few years ago when I was trying to navigate Venice using Google Maps, and I was routed through a short tunnel about 5 feet high and just as long. It was incredible to think that someone had put this tunnel as a viable route on Google Maps – but only for pedestrians of course!
As a traveler, Google Maps is one of the applications I keep on the bottom part of my iPhone – the menu bar that never moves. That’s how often I use it!
So thank you Google Maps, thanks for always being there, no matter where my travels take me…