A Girl and her GPS by Lola Steel

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The States, travels

What do you have when you combine one road trip, one GPS navigation device (lovingly referred to as Missy G) and two trusting vehicle occupants? You have the following peek into my recent road trip with my partner, Louise as we experience travel through rush hour in an unfamiliar city.

Missy G: “Take your next right.”

Me: (to Louise) “Does she mean that little lane or the next big street?”

Traffic is at a complete stand still so there is still ample time to question her intended direction at this point.

Louise: “Why are you asking me? What’s the difference between a lane and a street?”

I glance at Louise and realize that this may not be the best time to have a discussion about traffic movement patterns in North America. I settle for a shrug instead and file it away that I should check with her later about what The Netherlands has for moving vehicles around. Just so that we can literally be speaking the same language in the future about directions.

Me: “I’m taking the lane. It’s technically the next right, and it does have a sign with a name on it. So, it must be the one she means.” I say this decisively, confidently nodding as traffic creeps forward and I turn right onto the lane.

Missy G: “Re-calculating.”

Louise: “Guess she didn’t mean that right.”

Me: Glares at Louise.

Missy G: “Take your next left,” clearly trying to lead me back to the main road of traffic gridlock to get me to the correct right-hand turn.

Me: “I’d love to Missy G, but the next left is a one-way street, IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.”

Louise: “You don’t have to yell at her, she’s just trying to help.”

She says this with a smile that is anything but a sincere reflection of happiness. Louise and Missy G share sarcasm as a first language apparently.

Missy G: (as I drive past her intended left turn) “Re-calculating”.

Me: (turning at the next right) “I’ve got this Missy G – I’m taking us back to the main road.”

Missy G: Silent as the small electronic version of our vehicle now spins in circles in the map while a red-light blinks in the corner of her screen.

Louise: “Well, now you’ve done it, she’s mad and we’re getting lost.”

Missy G: Still silent.

Louise: Starts to unfold the paper map that she has tucked away in the car door pocket.

Me: “Don’t do that, if she sees you, she’ll never help us.”

Louise: Glares at me, sighs loudly and folds the map (badly), putting it away.

Missy G: “Re-calculating.”

Both Louise and I breathe sighs of relief at the return of Missy G’s comforting voice and I silently vow to never ignore her again.

BIO: Lola Steel is happiest when wrangling words and crafting escapes for her readers to indulge in. The words that find a way to sneak out of her mind find their homes in her writings that range from poetry to short stories, novellas and LGBTQ+ erotica. www.whiskysweet.com


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Photo by Sarah Leamy 

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Sarah Leamy, MFA, is an award-winning author of both travel books and novels as well as a photographer, presenter, and a bit of a wanderer. She has lived in England, Germany, Spain, Guatemala and the Southwest of the US. She is the founder and editor of Wanderlust, a travel journal publishing international travel writing, photos and trip reports. Find out more at www.sarahleamy.com

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