I had forgotten about maps.
I’m not talking about the lovely little app on the iPhone or the fantastic online service provided by Google. I’m talking about actual maps. Like the kind that is printed on paper and unfolds to almost actual size.
Upon entering Canada this week I received an automated text message that welcomed me to traveling abroad.
“How nice,” I thought, “My service provider is keeping tabs on me and making sure I know I’ve left U.S. cell service. What a comforting feeling.”
What I should have thought was, “Uh oh. I’m about to take out a second mortgage to pay for receiving an email.”
As it turns out, AT&T likes to charge roughly $1,333 per megabyte once a phone leaves the country. I only figured that out once I received another text, then an email, informing me that my firstborn son is about to be confiscated for the privilege of getting online.
Needless to say I switched to Airplane Mode on my phone and haven’t been online since, with the exception of the occasional spotty free wifi connection.
I didn’t panic without my phone at first. In fact, I thought it would be nice to be away from the addiction for a while. Except an addiction isn’t an addiction when it’s a requirement.
Without even thinking I reached for my phone to plug a destination into my maps, and then panicked. How am I supposed to know where to go without my GPS?
Then my wife said, “Looks like we need a map.”
I’d forgotten about maps.