I vividly remember one Friday in September when I left office at 4.30 pm to get AAA maps of New York City [AAA closes at 5 pm]. If you have noticed a AAA map, it is HUGE! It spans across almost a 3*3 table top and the street names are tiny. As I was driving home (and thence on to NY with wife), I had this strange sense of excitement and anxiety within me and I could not understand why.
It struck me a while later that it was because of those AAA maps! Apart from the mapquest printout from and to my sole destination point in NY city [I did not have a GPS], I had not taken any further mapquest printouts and I was totally relying on the AAA map. This feeling of finding out driving directions from a paper map was alien to me and feeling was almost akin to a treasure hunt! Hence the excitement! I was totally looking forward to it! Just goes to show how a device like GPS can kill or mute an innate human feeling of excitement.
Manhattan, with its streets and avenues and traffic jams, is a pain to drive as it is but with no clear sense of direction, it is even more difficult. But I was able to manage it with ease and learnt a lot more about Manhattan than I would have if I had used GPS [A related post]. Not just that, it was plain fun to find roads by myself through paper maps and navigate through the NYC traffic.
PS: I finally fell to the charm and versatility of the GPS and bought one last month.