It’s hard to think of one specific moment when Google has made a big difference to my life, because honestly Google plays a part in my life almost every single day. When I’m planning a holiday I spend hours Googling tourist attractions, transport options, and hotel accommodations. I use it to give me up to date exchange rates, just by searching “convert Rands to Dollars/Pounds,etc” and Google Maps was my lifeline when I first moved to Johannesburg and had literally no idea where I was all the time. In all honesty, I would say that Google Maps is probably the most used app on my phone, even more than my social media apps! I hate getting lost (even though it happens all the time) so even if I’m in a taxi or driving with a friend, I usually have Google Maps open and the route planned out. My life would certainly be a lot harder if I didn’t have the option to use Google to prep for my shows during the week – as it is I spend hours finding new music online, and without it I would be lost and definitely wouldn’t be able to research the best music for my show.
I do have one specific story to share when Google (and their apps) literally saved my skin. When you think of Brazil, what’s the first thing that spring to mind? Probably football, or beautiful beaches, bikini clad women with perfect bodies… which is fair i suppose, but honestly, if you don’t speak Portuguese (or Spanish which seems to be their most known second language) then you probably won’t be able to find any of those things. I’ve traveled to places like China and Hong Kong, and in all seriousness, the language barrier in Brazil is way more of a hindrance. In cities like Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, and Manaus you could go days without anyone being able to speak or understand even the minutest amount of English. Joe and I traveled Brazil during the World Cup for a month, and without Google Translate we wouldn’t have been able to tell the taxi drivers where we needed to go, or ask the pharmacist for headache tablets, or even order off of the menus in restaurants.
Thanks to Google Translate, whenever I needed to ask something that hand gestures just couldn’t get across, I’d whip out my phone and just use Google Translate. The best part was that I would type the English in and translate it to Portuguese, but then I’d just switch it around, hand them the phone and they could type in Portuguese and translate it to English for me to understand. I even had a few locals asking me what app I was using because tourists would stop them all the time and try and speak to them, but they had no way of communicating. As a result of the app I felt like I could actually genuinely connect with more people because we were able to go beyond the “where *makes wild hand gestures* toilet?” questions you might ask when traveling in a country where English isn’t even the fourth language. I had some fully fledged conversations via that little app on my phone, and we always parted ways with smiles on our faces. I remember there was a day in Sao Paulo where my phone died, and we tried to get around without the help of the app, and it was significantly more testing. I had to resort to pointing at pictures in a booklet to try and ask the taxi driver to take us to Beco do Batman (yes, that’s actually its name… no it isn’t pronounced Batman like the superhero).
Today I’ve collaborated with Google to bring you an EPIC hamper to the value of over R5000! But to be honest, you can’t actually buy most of these things, they’re exclusive Google swag. All you need to do is share your Google story on social media (Twitter/Insta/FB) and you could win Tell me about the time Google Maps helped you avoid the traffic and you made your crucial meeting just in time, maybe you found your wedding dress via Google Search, or maybe like me Google Translate helped you out of a sticky situation? Don’t forget to tag me in your story and use the hashtag: #MyGoogleZA – you need to do this in order for your entry to be counted.
What’s in the hamper:
- Sony Xperia device
- R250-00 Google Play Vouchers
- Google Cardboard <<< this is amazing
- Selfie Stick
- Power banks
- Google Headphones
- iKnow Board Game
Just a quick FYI – I’ve recently downloaded Google Calendar too… and I’m hoping it’ll help with productivity and keeping all my events/appointments/meetings/travel in a row. So far it’s super easy to use and nice to look at too Thought it was worth mentioning in case you’re looking for something better than the native calendar app on iPhone/Android.
CONGRATS to Gary B Laight for winning the competition! His entry was received via Facebook, and he perfectly described how Google has become an essential part of his everyday life!
Terms & Conditions:
The competition is only open to people older than 18.
Only one entry per person, and entries may not be longer than 300 characters.
By entering this contest you agree to the competition rules: https://events.withgoogle.com/mygoogleza/terms-conditions/
By entering you agree that your stories may be published.
The full Ts&Cs can be found here: https://events.withgoogle.com/mygoogleza/terms-conditions/