When I was a kid we went camping every year.
My parents, my little sister, and our two small dogs would pile into a car with every available inch of space inside and on top packed full and tied down with camping gear. We would be out of touch while we were away. No way to reach us but to call the ranger station. Payphones our only means of calling while we were away. Nothing to guide us but paper maps with a carefully highlighted route.
I am amazed by how much has changed within my lifetime. I am not sure what I would do if I suddenly found myself back then. When I leave the house for coffee, I carry an arsenal of technology that, in the 70s, NASA would have envied. Between my phone and my tablet I am reachable and traceable by any number of methods. I have maps at my fingertips that show me sattelite views and traffic. Between these two devices I have two GPS units with multiple navigation apps--and that is not counting the actual dedicated GPS for my car.
|Camping memories from the 70s. I'm the tall one.|
Between my phone and a couple of little red Nikons, I usually have enough digital cameras on me to document every event in my life several times over in stills and video. And thanks to the wonders of digital media, I can take hundreds of pictures a day. A far cry from the little 110mm camera we had when I was a kid with it’s little film cartridges. We had to wait till we got home and then wait some more for those pictures to be developed. I have the option of sharing my pictures almost instantaneously.
I am going on a road trip.
My friend needs to get her car and her dog across country. I'm going to help her get there and get a much needed break along the way. When I was growing up, a trip like this would have meant being totally unreachable. Today, my husband, AAA, and 911 are all as close as the phone in my purse. Thanks to Skype, I'll even be able to see Paul and meet with prospective clients.
In some ways, driving thousands of miles will be no different than going down the block.
|My phone/GPS/Camera/Video Camera/Concierge/Tri-Corder...|
in a picture I took and edited 5 minutes ago.
The flip side of the convenience though is knowing that my daily barage of social media and email will also follow me. I will pick and choose what gets to interrupt my trip. But the truth is that I have become acustomed to being there and responding, often immediately. I have to wonder if pretending to be unreachable will be more stressful than actually being so. I guess we’ll see.
We’re going from New York to Phoenix. Our route is not strictly planned, though we have a date by which we need to arrive so I can fly back. It’s going to be an adventure and, dear readers, I may just take you all along for the ride.