I went on a trip this past weekend phone free. Partly an experiment, mostly because I didn’t pay the bill on time and was mad at myself. Who needs a stupid cell phone anyway, right? I had actually thought about not going because I wouldn’t have a phone on the road. How stupid.. I don’t remember the road trips of my youth involving my mom on her phone half the trip with my aunt Susan checking us all in on Facebook every stop we made. I will make this trip an adventure. So the night before I Google the directions from the invitation, checked them twice and printed them out.
Check mark there.. What else did I need..? I had been thinking through all of my younger trips, mostly to Florida with us practically living on the Ga/Fla line.There were all these call boxes on the side of the interstate in case you broke down and needed help. I remembered seeing the same signs for the roadside service throughout South Carolina. Allright! Feeling better about not having the phone. I had directions, call boxes for the time I would be in SC and Michael reminded me to find a payphone if I needed it. I was smart enough to write down important numbers because I didn’t know them by heart anymore :c
Here we go!! I noticed right off I paid better attention to all of my surroundings.. Other cars, road signs, my own car.. No navigation means I didn’t know how many feet until my next turn. And you know, it really did feel good not knowing, telling Sydni we will be there when we get there. I knew about how long each leg of the trip was, so I took comfort in just driving.
First bad sign of not having a cellphone… The call ‘boxes’ I remembered from Florida weren’t in South Carolina. I knew I had seen the entering/leaving SC-DOT assistance zone or whatever it said, but I didn’t remember the boxes. Well, it’s because they are not there. The sign directs you to dial *HP from your cellphone. Not getting bad discouraged(thankfully I wasn’t in need at the time), but I thought, wow, how inconvenient for people who didn’t have a cell phone in their hand for whatever reason. Say they have the best coverage plan in the world, but if they have a dead battery and a dead car, they won’t be dialing *HP either.
So on trucking we go, following our Google directions to Milledgeville. This is where we ‘arrive’ in the middle of 441. Definitely not my aunt’s house. Not good. Still not panicking, this is an adventure, remember? I decide to head back towards down town to try and located a pay phone or directions. My aunt lives really close to a power station. If someone could point me there, I would know where I was.
Two major things different from my younger trips when we would occasionally get lost and needed a little help. There are no payphones left in that part of Georgia and most stores you stop at.. if they speak English enough to understand, very rarely can you get good directions.
The third store we stop at, I get the nerve up to ask a lady leaving the inside of the store to pump her gas. Between her and the man parked next to her, they proceeded to tell me where to go. The guy even wrote it all down on a napkin. Trucking again with our napkin and a bucket load of hope, we follow our directions til TA-DA we see the smoke stack of the power station within 10 minutes. At this point I know where I am and get right to my aunt’s with no problem!
The way home wasn’t bad at all. Sydni and I talked most of the way. She told me stories, we made up some together and just laughed. I wasn’t endangering anyone with talking or trying to text while driving which is always a plus! Though the concern of breaking down with no communication won, with us turning my phone back on when I got home, it really got me wondering, even if we were ready to go back to no cell phones.. Has the world changed so much that things would be that different? Is it really more dangerous to travel without a phone these days? Things are different. No pay phones at every store with a friendly clerk who could point you in the right direction.
I dunno.. Food for thought…