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The Most Killer Travel App of All

November 19, 2014

Golden Gate

I often say I have good travel karma. On trips, things usually go my way, despite my best attempts to screw them up (for instance, the last time I flew, I arrived at the airport without any idea of what airline I was flying. I used to be incredibly obsessive about that stuff. I think my pendulum has swung a little too far in direction of “Tra la, it will all be ok!” I finally remembered I was flying on “The one with the cookies!” and got myself to the Delta terminal. Biscoff biscuits are a powerful incentive for me).

I do not, however, have good travel technology karma. I should be voted the person most likely to be squatting next to the electrical outlet behind the trash can in the airport. While everyone else is speeding along, cleverly consulting apps that get them discounts and priority boarding, I am watching a spinny circle on my cell phone screen, waiting for something to happen as my battery life is sucked away.

Last week my friends CC and Ish and I went to San Francisco for a few days, and my travel tech unlucky streak held. We were using public transportation, so the guy who rented our house to us (we rented it on! I love it so much!) suggested we download the Muni app.

I tried, but didn’t have enough room on my phone to download it. I tried deleting some old apps but then accidentally told my phone to update everything, so I had to wait for 72 apps to update, but there wasn’t enough room for the updates, so it got stuck with a bunch of apps half-loaded and just sitting there, and the Muni app never did load. Apparently I would never know which bus route was which.

I needn’t have worried, though. I soon realized that we had the most killer travel app of all in the form of my friend Ish. He often claims to be the shy, retiring type, but he is lying. Ish will talk to anyone and everyone about anything and everything.

At Hearst Castle’s (empty for repairs) Neptune Pool, he quizzed the pool guy about filtration. In case you’re wondering, they both favor sand over diatomaceous earth.

Ish has enthusiasm and excitement about everything he encounters. He’s the human equivalent of a French Bulldog puppy. He finds someone to ask, and starts asking. I’m always afraid I’m going to bother someone. I think “Oh, they don’t have time to talk to me,” but in my experience with Ish, most people are delighted to share what they know.

He got us directions. He got advice. He learned stuff. He found out who made the pies at the diner we went to. He met nice people, including a 68-year-old Filipina lady named Edna who showed us her vegetables and walked us to her favorite BART station (the one inside the mall at Powell Street). He introduced CC and me to nice people he met, and their dogs.

If you have to take a trip, download some apps. But I’d also suggesting packing Ish or someone like him. Your trip will be the better for it.


  1. November 20, 2014 07:09

    Ish sounds great. I want an Ish.

  2. elvie permalink
    November 20, 2014 08:51

    Ish is great. I enjoy being around him. A good travel buddy for you and CC.

  3. November 20, 2014 10:27

    Every one needs an Ish! I tend to ask people where they would eat, but that’s as far as I go. I never think to ask better questions.

  4. November 20, 2014 11:29

    Can we clone him?

  5. December 3, 2014 13:14

    I am terrible at talking to people when I travel. I want always to travel with people like Ish who are at ease with the talking but won’t, like my mother, force me to participate in it!

    • December 21, 2014 10:58

      I know. I tend to scurry off after a few sentences, even if I do talk.

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