One travel service to rule them all? If only.

I was working in London the past five weeks, and with that over, I’ve been travelling a bit across Europe. 

In this last six weeks, the realisation has dawned on me that 95% of the travel-related research and purchases I’ve made have been online. Local transport is one I just wasn’t comfortable purchasing online, and wanted the assurance of going to a station and buying that first ticket, getting any stupid questions out of the way with a person. Quickly. It’s fine buying a ticket, but essentially not knowing how to use it, and getting lost is not a prospect that’s fun.

Back to that 95%.

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Taking technology for granted [AKA the parent lens]

I live in an unbelievably large technology bubble. I’m rather happy living in it, and haven’t stepped out of it for a while. A couple of days ago, I momentarily did, through the lens of my mother; it was hilarious.

To cut a long story short, we were looking for a new TV, went to Harvey Norman [oh, the irony] and bought the thing. We were told there was a warehouse a few kilometres away where we needed to pick it up and given an address.

As we got in the car, my mother started rifling through the glove compartment and back seats, and worridly said, “I can’t find the street directory. How are we going to get there?”. If I was in a TV show, I might have said something like, “two words, Google Maps”. Good lord, that sounds corny.

Ahem, anyway, I entered the address into Google Maps [“oh, you’re calling someone to ask for directions?”], and that lovely British accent started telling us where to go. I handed the phone to her and said, “just hold this, it’ll tell you where to go”. Suffice it to say, she was astounded.

We get back home, and the first thing she says to my father is, “do you know his phone just tells him where to go? He’ll never be lost with that thing”.

It really is as simple as that. Google Maps is my favourite travel accessory. I was in New York earlier this year, and the transit directions helped me navigate an unfamiliar public transport system with ease. Clearly I’ve taken it for granted, but seeing someone experience its magic for the first time was fun!

Then of course the TV’s set up, and she asks, “can you watch those TV shows from your computer on this now?”. Gosh, I hadn’t even thought that far ahead.