Thursday, September 8, 2022

Travelling with Technology

When you went exploring the wide world in the “Old Days”, and I am old enough to actually recall the old days, you would try to locate a nice appropriate post card to fill your news into the limited space and send it back home to your family and friends to tell them where you were and what you were doing. On my first real grown-up vacation, I took a road trip with two friends to drive to Montreal, but we ended up down in the USA instead, where I suspect no one back home had any idea where we were. There were no cell phones, and you would’ve had to find a pay-phone and pay long distance charges (Could you even do that on a pay phone?), but I suspect we just merrily went our own way until we ran out of cash and returned home. 

Not so today; with the chat app on my ‘devices’, the children knew when we took off from Halifax and I bought a SIM card to give me data on my iPad using cellular data, and as soon as I landed in Paris, I inserted the SIM in and instantly had Internet service to inform the children where their parents were presently spending their inheritance. We bought train tickets at a ticket machine and they were e-mailed to me . . . . . . well that was the plan - not all technology works, and we had to go speak to a real person to get paper tickets; the virtual tickets never appeared in my inbox. 

Then. On the train, we were not sure if we would have to change trains or certain of the exact route, but the map app on my iPad allowed me to follow the train in real time and know exactly where I was. We did not have to bring paper books, we simply loaded out iPads with literature of choice and relaxed with a book while the train sped through the French countryside. Then off the train, Google Maps brought us right to the apartment, although I had used “Street View” to virtually walk the route, so I hardly needed the map. 

We are now using Google Translate to buy groceries and check instructions. You simply hold the phone up to the French writing and the app instantly translates it into English. It even can translate script. The apartment has lovely new appliances, but the only instructions were in French. We used Google Translate to read the French instructions, but then I simply went on the Internet and downloaded the manual in English and Regis has a delicious desert in the oven cooking. 

I have three or four capable and expensive cameras at home, but on this trip they are still collecting dust in the cupboard while I am snapping pictures on my iPhone (Hand-Me-Down from my daughter), and the pictures can be uploaded to the Family Chat or the Google Nest Max shared photos to display on the children’s screen almost instantly. I even brought a Google ChromeCast which allows me to watch my local TV on the TV here, including shows I have scheduled to record on the DVR at home. I do not miss my NASCAR or F1 races anymore. 

Translate this  . . . . .

Oh yea, I am also able to see Regis’ sister coming and going to check the house and water the plants through my Video doorbell. But when someone drops their handy paper guidebook onto the tile floor, the screen does not break . . . . ain't technology great. 

Making sure the children know where we are

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