On my recent trip to Chicago, it struck me that I am now more or less traveling in the future. Traveling now is so much more user friendly than before. Granted, I did most of my traveling from 2003-2007. But so much has changed in a few short years that it feels like a whole new experience. The most noticeable difference was how my iPhone allowed me to be interconnected with almost everything around me.
I noticed it right away in the rental car. In my experience, rental cars always had shitty stereos that often only had a tape player even though it was the 00’s. This rental car had an iPod hook-up even though it was the midsize. It was the same in our hotel room. Instead of the basic AM/FM alarm clock we had an iPod alarm clock. This was even more useful since all of the guys besides me on the trip were former/current AT&T employees and everyone had an iPhone4.
By the end of the long weekend, the iPhone had officially been declared the MVP of the trip. We used ours to take pictures, track CTA times, use Google maps to keep the cabbies honest, play games, text each other highly inappropriate pictures, etc. All the guys were on Twitter & Facebook, so there was a constant stream of funny updates to follow in real time. And all of my updates generated quite a bit of traffic on social media as well. Especially humorous was the fact that my dad joined Facebook right before I left, and apparently had a hoot following my adventures over the weekend.1
I would’ve killed for any and all of that ease back when I traveled the country in 2003. Back then, my mobile technology was a clunky 2nd generation cell phone with no coverage and a heavy laptop without wi-fi. It’s amazing how far mobile technology has come in eight short years.
1. And since it happened to be over Father’s Day weekend, I considered it a DIY gift.