Another moment for the confessional I call this blog some days (don’t laugh – if you read regularly that I seem to spend a lot of time telling you about the areas in which I’m lacking – keeping it real!). I am geographically challenged.
Wondering what I mean? Well, besides the fact that I seem to have slept through most of my geography classes in high school (though I’d been there as a child, I once told a friend that I thought Nova Scotia was an island – yes…I am well aware NOW that it is not an island – I’m sorry if you are from Nova Scotia and cringing as you read this – but I did!). In addition to that, I have absolutely no natural sense of direction. I can’t navigate using East, West, North or South and I can’t read a map.
It’s not that I haven’t tried – for some crazy reason I just lack the natural ability to do these things!
That being said, you’d think at this stage in my life I would have used a car navigation system. Again, that isn’t the case. There are a couple of reasons why. The biggest reason was that my husband refused to get one because he figured he’d always be able to get us anywhere (am I only wife who has ever experience that??). As well, though I love technology, extraneous technology (where you have it just for the sake of having it) drives me crazy and I didn’t know whether a car navigation system would be useful.
Then I had a moment of revelation when I went on my 40th birthday trip with my best friend last fall. She has a navigation system built into her car. I’m pretty sure she thought I was nuts (well, luckily she knows me well enough to know I’m a bit wacky!) because I was so enamoured with her nav system. I couldn’t believe it talked to you and could get us anywhere we wanted to go. It blew my mind!
So I was pretty excited to try out the TomTom! Before I tried out the TomTom VIA 1605 TM , I learned that it has a lot of features to it, including:
- a lifetime traffic and map updates;
- a popular super-slim design; and
- an integrated fold-and-go EasyPort mount.
The mounting system really interested me because it allows for easy positioning of the device either on the windshield or the dash and the device orients the display with a useful flip-screen feature.
A couple of weeks ago, while planning two back-to-back road trips, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the TomTom VIA 1605 TM. I was a little leery about setting it up at first (what if I did something wrong?) but the step by step setup was incredibly easy and I was done in less than 5 minutes!
I also thought that mounting it was going to be a challenge but I was wrong! With the suction on the back of the TomTom, I was able to easily attach the power cable to my lighter outlet, the other end of the cable in the back of the TomTom and then attach it to windshield. Easy peasy!
The real proof of the TomTom’s value, for me, was two-fold — how well it would direct me to where I wanted to travel and what functions would make it most useful for me. To test out the navigational aspect of the TomTom, I actually used an online map service to search out the fastest route to where we were going. With a number of twists and turns, I didn’t think the TomTom would take us in that direction. Wrong! The TomTom literally took us from the driveway at home to the exact address of our destination using the same driving directions I found online!
The best part, for me, was in the verbal directions offered by the TomTom. Rather than watching the map, I drove my route simply by listening to the verbal directions that the TomTom provided. I found my TomTom’s voice easy to listen to (I have heard rumours that I can program my TomTom with a Darth Vader voice, but I haven’t tried that yet!) and the directions are given with ample time to turn, change lanes or whatever other directions it is giving me.
At the end of the day, I can’t believe that I’ve gone this many years without a navigation system! It is opening up a whole new world for me – I now feel confident enough to drive to the closest major cities on my own (something I’ve never done before) because I know my TomTom is going to help me get where I want to go!
TomTom VIA 1605 TM is available at Future Shop and Best Buy with a suggested retail price of $229.