No WiFi, no problem.
Although the lack of WiFi can be scary at times, with strategic planning and some old-fashioned maps, that is all solved. I have mostly become accustomed to only using my phone during certain times with the time change and lack of Internet access in a lot of places. While traveling, my phone really is especially helpful for taking pictures. I don’t want to have to lug around a pic fancy digital camera, so I just keep my trusty iPhone in my pocket on airplane mode and call it a day.
This past weekend I visited Budapest, Hungary where I was able to take many pictures of the adventures I had with my friends. One of the first days we went caving and we were allowed to bring our phones into the caves with us (at our own risk of course). There was a pocket in our jumpsuit where the phone could be securely fasted with Velcro so I felt that it was safe and what trip would be complete without an entire Facebook album devoted to it? Sure I could talk about caving all I want, but people would want to see pictures!
Many people argue that kids are addicted to their phones and that they just get in the way, but all we are trying to do is document our lives. Down in the cave I was able to take so many cool pictures that I later sent to my parents. (which then of course got circulated to my entire family) Later in the trip we visited the famous thermal baths. I knew that my phone really wasn’t safe there because I would have to leave it unattended when I went in the baths, but once again I wanted to document the trip so I brought it along.
Before entering the outside baths my friend and I got fish pedicures. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s when you put your feet in a tank of these specific kind of fish and they eat your dead skin off (not as gross as it sounds). I was so excited about this, so of course I took out my beloved iPhone to document the moment. I even was able to take a video to capture the fish nibbling and tickling my feet.
Later that night when I had returned to Prague, I sent the video to my Dad who was amazed and could not wait to show the rest of my family. The next day I was on the phone with my mom when she told me that the fish pedicure was the topic of conversation at a big family dinner the previous night as my dad showed the video to everyone. “You’re a celebrity around here,” she said, because she shows all of my pictures off to everyone and tells them what I have been up to.
Overall yes, I would like there to be WiFi more often, but at the end of the day the picture function on my phone is what had proven to be the most useful while traveling. Sure, I’ve gotten lost and reached for my phone, only to realize it is useless, but then my friends and I figure it out. We ask someone or look at our map, or just wing it! There is this perception that we are desperate for WiFi, and for most people that’s true. I won’t lie and say that’s not me sometimes because I want to be connected too, but since studying abroad I have no problem setting my phone to airplane mode and taking everything in.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user Tom Raftery