Last week we chose to scrap our main navigation tool, Google Maps! It was difficult and fun at the same time.
We obviously know how to get to the essential places, the locations we visit every day or on a regular basis. We know various routes to church, work, grocery stores, nearby gas stations, and the like. We weren’t too worried about getting where we needed to go. Our primary use of Google maps is to check traffic along the route to see how long it will take to get where we are going.
We both have decent commutes – Joshua’s is about 45 minutes, Bethany’s is 35 minutes – so it is very beneficial to check exactly how long it will take to get there. That way, if we need to take a couple extra minutes, we can build in that additional margin. If there was an accident along the way, we could be redirected to the fastest route.
This week, we did not have that luxury. We had to be very intentional about leaving enough time for our commute to work. We also needed to know alternative routes in case of emergency or unexpected detour.
We both did fairly well at leaving on time to arrive to work with minutes to spare. There was only one situation where Joshua almost had to use his Maps app. During his commute home from work on Monday he ran into some traffic that caused him to miss to miss a turn. Those goons would not let him over. He had to find an alternative route by relying on his internal compass. Luckily he has a decent sense of direction and was able to make it home without any major mishap.
The fun part came when we got to visit friends. We had their address and we had to find our way to their neighborhood, street and house number without using Google Maps. It was really fun. We only took two wrong turns and still arrived on time.
We know that Google Maps are almost essential when visiting new locations. But we both had to admit that we used Google Maps as a bit of a safety net to justify leaving 5 minutes later for work. It was another driving distraction.
Moving forward we want to do a better job of building in travel margins and having fun finding locations that are somewhat familiar. Do you use your Google Maps app for anything other than directions?