How To Get Lost on Your Next Road Trip


Sometimes the best thing you can do is find places you didn’t know you were looking for

We live in a strange time when you think about it. We’re not exactly living in the future science fiction prepared us for –– no flying cars or teleportation. But still, the way we travel is certainly shaped by our familiarity and use of technology. Think about GPS navigation systems and smartphones with Google Map apps. With enough battery life, it’s virtually impossible to not get where you’re going. The days of wrong turns are basically behind us. Not getting lost is convenient, and it sure saves a lot of time, but sometimes it’s a lot less fun. Martin Buber, a 20th-century philosopher, said: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” I like that. Sometimes our technology narrows our focus too much. We don’t make wrong turns to find the best greasy spoon or the greatest flea market, because we are always so concentrated on following directions and getting where we’re going. We are so conscious of our precise destination that we aren’t aware of our location — we aren’t curious about what’s outside of the car window or down the next street. We just know we should turn right in 500 feet. But, with every inch of the world calculated into accurate maps and clear-cut directions that fit in our pockets, it’s easier than ever to explore a little. Here are a couple of ways technology can help you get lost on your next road trip. When you aren’t crunched for time, detours are a great way to explore a little and discover places you didn’t know you wanted to visit. Take a Wrong Turn: If you’re using a GPS navigation system, it can get you where you’re going from anywhere. So, take a turn down a street that looks interesting. Turn your GPS off until you’re ready to be back on track. See what this new and exciting place has to offer. Eat Somewhere Different: Sometimes you can’t see the best eats from the highway –– but with apps like Urbanspoon and Yelp, there is no reason you should be eating at McDonald’s and Chili’s in every city. Check out a mom-and-pop dinner, a local café or a restaurant you’ve never heard of in town. Do Things on the Way: There is a smartphone finder app for almost everything –– just do a little looking. Like museums? Check out the Museum Finder app for Android or Museum Locator for iPhone. Addicted to coffee? There are apps to guide you to the nearest java joint. They have coffee shop locators across platforms. Make the most of your app store; make the most of your trip.