The secret to navigation doesn’t really lie in the GPS on your smartphone. It lies in communication. I don’t mean to sound like an anti-gadget freak here but honestly, you get to know a lot more about a place you are going to if instead of using GPS, you actually ask people for directions. For instance-
You get to make precious conversation-
When you are travelling to an entirely new place, you get to meet people who have actually spent years and years of their lives, living, breathing and rejoicing in the different joys the place has to offer. They may even share some of their intimate stories and tell you nitty-bitty secrets about the place which you are unlikely to find on your GPS. All in all, it’s not a machine you are talking to but an individual and as such, conversations come your way, something that is hard to find in the present day fretful lives.
You get to know and appreciate the people–
Let me relate a story to illustrate this further. During my school days in Lucknow, I had once gone for some test at my friend’s coaching. On the way back, it struck me that I was somewhere in the locality of the Lucknow Zoo and so I asked my friend, without any real intention of visiting it, about where actually was. I must have been a bit loud at this because within seconds, 3-4 people (who were not rickshaw-walas, for that matter) got around me trying to tell me the way to the zoo also telling me the necessary transport I can find and at what price. I thanked them for their gesture and told them that I was just asking this out of curiosity and didn’t really need to go there.As they moved on after this, I felt that the saying about Lucknow being “Adab ka Shahar” was true to its core.
This is what the right navigation tools teach you about. After all, visiting a new city is not about knowing about its building and art. It’s about knowing its people.
You learn life lessons–
Travelogues and Journals may tell you a lot about the highs and lows and the goods and bads of a place but they rarely teach you those small things that make up the big bliss. It might be that remote coffee shop in the corner which very few people know about but serves the best coffee in the city; or it might be that street market which sells everything at 50 percent flat barring none or it might just be the cheapest hotel which still offers free breakfast. When you learn all these things, you find that when you try to escape life for a few days, it slowly sneaks back jubilating itself where you didn’t expect finding it. These are times that you realize that life, although not pretty, is beautiful.