Now, I’m not normally a fan of Christmas traditions. Of having to put up the Christmas decorations on a certain day, or of having to wait until the first of December to open the first door on the Advent Calander.
I say that I’m not normally a fan because there is one tradition which I absolutely love and would never miss for all the money in the world. Which now I’ve written that down, I’m immediately going to say that yes I would miss it for all the money in the world. I’m not that stupid.
It started when I was in my first year of university and there were four of us kicking around halls for the last week of term. With no lectures to go to or essays to write, we decided to jump in the car and head off to the north of Scotland.
The decision was simple, the execution took four days and hundreds of miles of driving through our lovely British countryside. With only an old paper atlas to guide us through the back roads and mountain passes, it quickly became clear that this wasn’t the best of ideas, but would make for an epic road trip.
Well since that fateful journey, we have now repeated it for the last decade and we’re hoping for many more to come. The four of us happily meet up and get in the worst car we can hire, it’s too small, it doesn’t have heated seats and it really hasn’t even thought about having a SatNav. We purposely go back to the limit of our budget, when we didn’t even have two coins to rub together.
The road map means that we have to plan, we need a navigator and we need to read the road signs. It’s how driving used to be done, yet today with SatNavs in every car, we don’t need to think about where we’re going, we just need to take the next left.
It’s always after the road trip that I notice how distracted I am by my phone or my SatNav, when I get back into my usual car and head out on my usual commute. I sit on the same roads for fifty-two weeks of the year and yet I still need a SatNav to show me where to go.
So I get back from my road trip and I re-adopt all the old ways. I lose the phone for the journey, there’s no phone call important enough in my life to risk dying for. It gets turned off and I don’t even need to consider if I should be answering it.
The SatNav is a complete waste of time once I have left home. I make the key route decision within ten feet of my drive, so a quick check before I leave home and that too can be forgotten about.
I would say that we should all try to turn off the devices once in a while. It’ll make you realise how much you just don’t need them. This will also make you a much safer driver.