Picture this: a crossword puzzle with, instead of clues to 1 Across, 5 Across, 1 Down, 2 Down, and so on, answers. That’s right – nothing at all for you to work out. All thinking’s been done for you, so you can simply do as directed. No challenge there – and no sense of achievement to reward you.
Exactly like Sat-Nav. And exactly why I don’t want it.
I certainly want to know where I am going – but that’s what maps are for. And how to get there. Maps cover that, too. More to the point, I also want to use my brain. ‘Use it or lose it’, they say, and I believe them.
These days, with lengthy security checks and frequent flight delays, late-running trains and bumper-to-bumper traffic, getting there isn’t always half the fun – or any fun at all. Nevertheless, I still get a kick out of opening the road atlas, and planning a journey by car. If it’s somewhere I’ve been before, I might look for a different route this time: it might or might not be shorter or faster, but there’ll be see new sights to see, new places to be and fresh views to enjoy.
So beat a retreat, TomTom & co! For some of us, planning a trip is almost as life-affirming as making it. Long, short, complex or uncomplicated – and even if we do get lost – we welcome the challenge, so we won’t be handing over the reins anytime soon!
PAT RICHARDSON Founder, HotelsThatWereNot.com