Step 5: In Which I'm Blown Away by Google Maps


Posted on : 12:02 PM | By : Anonymous | In : , ,

Even though we are really into simple living and the whole voluntary simplicity thing in general, we are are a very techie family. Geeky? Nerdy even. But this is the month of radical changes to shake up our lives and get us out of our apathetic rut, and so we even downscaled our technology. We'd already downscaled our clothing, our toys, and our belongings in general, but technology was one big thing that we hadn't really done anything about. We had a big screen TV, a Playstation 3 and a nice sound system to play Blu Ray movies (our favorite was Planet Earth, which is definitely worth seeing!). We also had three computers and a couple of iPods. We didn't have cable, but we had fast internet so we could download movies. This month we now own one computer and two iPhones, and that's IT. This is an amazing feat in the history of my marriage. There has never once been a time in which we did not own at least two computers.

Admittedly, I think in the future we will probably get some more computers, lol. BUT, I think they are a good tool. John is leaving tonight for Vancouver and from there he will fly to Reno early tomorrow morning. Then he has to take a bus to Carson City and stay the night, and from there he will be given a ride to the Big Blue Bus. From there he will drive up through Sacramento to Oregon, stay the night at a KOA and then continue Tuesday to Blaine and into Canada. Hopefully he will make the ferry on Tuesday night.

I have lived in Nevada at two times during my childhood - once in Elko for a year, and once in Las Vegas for a year. I've traveled and stayed in Oregon lots, and at one time lived in Vancouver, Washington. So I'm pretty familiar with the roads and what to expect. But I took a look at Google Maps to double check his route and make sure it was fairly easy in a 42 foot bus. I did not realize that even with their simple website you can literally cruise down the road in pictures and turn 360 degrees to see what's all around you. He has to stop at the DMV in California and I was able to see that there would be no parking for him and he would have to park across the street. What an amazing tool!

My family took lots of roadtrips when I was a kid, and I remember my Mom plotting out our trip using a big Rand McNally atlas that we would get every year, usually from Costco. She would write down a list of each turn and highway, and during the trip my job was to help navigate by checking the list with the map and the roadsigns. Now all I have to do is plug the stops into Google Maps and it makes me a list and then shows me pictures of the entire itinerary. Amazing! John is also carrying his iPhone with him and there is some question if the speedometer works on the bus very well, so we looked for a speedometer iPhone app. Turns out .... there's an app for that! lol

It is that kind of technology that we can use more of, but giant televisions and incredible surround sound are fun sometimes but not a necessity of life. Every purchase represents minutes of our lives that my husband had to spend away from us, and by selling those items we don't need and putting that into something that brings us together we can salvage that investment of time into something we can believe in.

Comments (4)

hmm maybe if i promise my hubs his own computer he'll let go of the tv (no cable at least), playstation, xbox, wii etc.

nevermind. i doubt he's there yet. ;)

when did you live in Vegas??


It was a long time ago... I think I was around 12 or 13 so maybe 1993 or 94? That was a pretty cool year actually.... we lived across the street from a community college and a local tribe had a pow wow right in our front yard basically. That was where I learned to love tipis, ironically.

Hi friend!

Our pc blew up a couple of months ago so we've been using the ancient laptop where the 'v' sticks (kind of annoying since I seem to be typing 'RV' a lot lately :D) We hope to stick to just this laptop right now and then a whizzer one in a bit since we fight over who gets to use it.

Our RV has a little 8" tv with fantastic reception so far. Funny, since we've never had network tv at home.

We looked at iphones today and decided to skip it and just have a regular boring cell (which we bought a practically new one for only $20 on kijiji, not having one until now) and will get ourselves an AirCard if we can not find enough wireless internet on the road. Seeing as we are going to winter in Port Alberni, we thought we would wait and see what the future brings before we commit ourselves too much financially.

Sorry about the blather. Our launch day is less than a week away and I'm getting way too excited. I have so many questions, especially about green living while travelling (compost... worms? Cloth diapers without a washer? I'm over my head :o)

Thanks for sharing your downsizing process... your thoughts and doings have been helping us along tremendously :)

Oh my goodness Vegbee, you are very close by! lol we haven't figured out where we want to winter yet... I know some fun unschooly families in Errington that would be nice to be close to.

I too have been trying to figure out the compost and cloth diaper dilemma. I don't have any good solutions for compost, and I don't have any good laundry solutions either! I was theorizing that we could downsize our clothing to a few essential items each and do the laundry by hand and then hang it to dry, but I am thinking that would get old very quickly.

I am so envious that you are a week away. It will take us 6 months to get to that point probably.

The iPhones were pretty expensive as far as cell phones go but we figured it would balance out since we are extremely heavy internet users. We also really want to try geocaching and they have GPS.

Do you guys plan to go to any of the Families on the Road get- togethers? We also have been thinking we'd like to go to Burning Man, ha ha.