What We Did Before GPS ~ We Got Lost!


I decided to repost this because last week Tayair and I drove to Maryland for a television show and had we not had MAPS on a smartphone, we would have gotten lost and never made it!


A few weeks ago I was driving to work and a few miles before getting onto Route 202, there was a major traffic jam with police directing motorist to take an alternative route.    Now, most of you know that I work in Wayne, Pennsylvania and have been traveling the same major roads for years, however, since I live in Delaware most of the side roads in Pennsylvania are very unfamiliar.



As I pulled up the WAZE app on my Smartphone to find an alternate route I couldn’t help but think about the days before the MAPS or WAZE app.  

What did we do before we had GPS built into our phones or mounted on our dashboards, before GPS we just got lost unless we had a Roadmap or a Road Atlas in the car.  




Yes, we could stop at a Gas Station and ask for directions, but nine times out of ten, we would try to navigate our way to a familiar road or search for a street sign that would get us back on the right track.


Oftentimes spending more time and gas than necessary, which is why I am glad that we do have the built-in technology, after all, who wants to spend more money on gas than necessary?


asking for directions at a gas station in the 50s
Wayback Wednesday – Asking for Directions at a gas station

Unfortunately, I was late to work, but thanks to the Waze App, I was able to navigate the side roads to get safely back onto Route 202 North.  

The funniest part of the day was when I told a co-worker about my morning adventure, she is the one who said that she still keeps an Atlas in her vehicle.  The one pictured above is actually the one in her car as well as this TomTom which is securely mounted on her dash! (thank you, Barbara)




tom tom GPS

Let’s Chat:  Have you ever gotten lost driving to work?


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24 thoughts on “What We Did Before GPS ~ We Got Lost!

  1. I use google maps as it voices where to turn. I love it! I remember the days of figuring out on our own using maps and then the days I’d printing your route out off the computer using mapquest! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    1. Yes, Google maps is great, I remember pulling up the directions and printing them as well. I thank goodness for GPS now because I can get lost getting out of brown bag!

    1. Well my dear, you are very fortunate, because I still get lost going to unfamiliar places and sometimes familiar places especially when running late!

  2. I’ve never gotten lost going to work – but I’ve gotten lost going anywhere else! LOL!

    My dad taught my sibs and me to read maps during family vacations. One of us always had to be the navigator and map out the trip. Ugh! Yep, we all got us lost at one time or another, but we learned.

    When I moved to southern California, I found most commuters carried a copy of the Thomas Brothers Map Guide and bought one. I not only learned my way around, I also found alternate routes to avoid the mind-numbing parking lot known as Los Angeles County rush hour traffic. Fun fact – it doesn’t rush. ?

    GPS has been a life saver, but it’s also gotten me lost more than a few times. Here in Tucson, most major streets have TWO names, just depends on what part of town you’re in. I still buy maps! LOL! ?

    1. oh my goodness, traffic in LA, I would never be able to navigate without GPS. I find it frustrating as well to have a location with two addresses or names and sometimes they are in two different states – I think Siri purposely likes to get me lost to make me late!

  3. I still like maps. I have input wrong zip or did not specify street or road and got lost! My sister who has a terrible sense of direction has been the best beneficiary of GPS!

  4. We used to go online to Mapquest, enter the addresses, print off the directions. Mapquest always took us thru the longest route, and we would curse and swear all the way down the road. LOL!!

  5. This weekend I did it to myself and my 11-year-old. We got lost. I refused to pull up Google maps 🙂 we fumbled and bumbled and explored our way out of it and it was perfection.

  6. Oh I am smiling because. My husband and I are both in our 60’s so most of our live has been without the Internet. We have never owned a GPS. I can’t tell you how many times Google Maps on my phone (when I am with him) has saved us from hours of misery, because he will not (surprise!) stop to ask for directions. Yes, he still uses paper maps and a road atlas. I swear by Google Maps printouts when we travel. On the other hand, I got Waze installed and have never, ever figured it out. I wish someone would send me directions on how to use it!

    1. Yes, when I think back during the times that we had to use common sense and ingenuity it amazes me how we were able to do so without too much worry. My hubby is the same, he will not stop for directions but gets frustrated if the GPS is incorrect. I love WAZE as it gives more info than Google MAPS.

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