I recently returned from spending a few months studying abroad in Paris, France. I had the incredible opportunity to take classes about the history and culture of the city while rapidly improving my French language skills. I also had the chance to experience living in a confusing and exciting city without the aid of my most prized possession... my iPhone. Here in New York, I use my iPhone for essentially everything that I need on the go. Can’t find that restaurant where I’m meeting my sister? Look it up on Google, plug it into Maps, and I’m there in five minutes. Want to go to the movies? Look up the reviews and times on Flixster. Love the song I heard on the radio? Shazam, I have the name in one minute and am immediately sent to the iTunes store where I can download it.
Life in Paris was definitely different without all of these things literally at my fingertips. When I was lost in this city, I was seriously lost. Many times I would ask multiple people for directions who would all point me down different roads, around different corners, and into more unknown territory. I don’t want to say that I enjoyed being lost because I definitely did not, especially when the sun was setting and I had no credit left on my pay-as-you-go mobile to call my friends. What I did enjoy though, was finding my way. When it finally clicked; when I finally realized that I could take the 12 train to Odeon instead of the 6 all the way to the 4, I had a sense of accomplishment that you just can’t get from the Hopstop app.