Today I am headed to Europe for 6 weeks. No specific plans but to spend some time in northern Spain, Italy (Rome and Florence) and London.
Normally when it is time to depart I have someone take me to the airport. But in an effort to be a bit more self supporting I thought I would utilize technology to help get me to the airport. At 1:00 p.m. I turned on my iPhone and brought up my Uber app. It knew where I lived and I told it where I wanted to go (the corner of Center and Border). My app said ok, Emmanuel would be there in 7 minutes to pick me up. It showed me a map of where Emmanuel currently was located (somewhere along Cooper street). As I gathered my things I watched on my phone as the map showed Emmanuel getting close enough. then 1:07 my phone made a sound and gave me a message that Emmanuel was outside of my home. I looked out the window and sure enough there he was. I went out, loaded my things in the car and off we went. In no time I was at my destination. I got out, thanked Emmanuel, took my things and he left. No dollars changed hand, no tip was expected or offered. How easy. As Emmanuel drove away my phone sent me a message with a receipt and a map of my journey. How easy.
As I sat and waited for my next leg of the journey to begin. Again, I pulled out my phone and started a different app. I said that I wanted to go from the Arlington bus stop to the TRE train station. I selected my ticket type. A ticket appeared on my phone just as the but pulled up. I picked up my things, go on board and showed my iPhone to the driver. He smiled and waved me on. Again without any dollars changing hands I was on my way to the airport.
I often feel that technology is passing me by. These technologies have been around for several years so it was nice to know that I could still master them and put them to use to make my travels easier.
At the airport I boarded a plane to Spain (fortunately in Business Class) and took the 10 hour to Madrid. I didn’t spend any time in Madrid but made my way to Leon on the train to recover from jet lag before continuing on my journey