Safe in this knowledge I believed I would be able to maintain my two blogs and a business whilst on the other side of the world.
The reality did not match the expectation.
Firstly, my mobile cell phone, for which I had purchased a travel sim to avoid those notoriously high international roaming charges proved useless for anything but very basic texting.
On top of this, the friend I was travelling with went to Telstra, his service provider in Australia, to set up his phone to avoid international roaming fees as well, but allow for phone calls and net searches. His mobile device proved to be locked when we arrived. Not even a call or text could be made. Instead, he spent time trotting off to Apple outlets to see what could be done. His phone could only be unlocked back in Australia.
Between the two of us we had a glorified alarm clock and a basic text home service. Neither of us could make a local call to confirm bookings or contact friends or businesses. Even local texts did not reach me. A$200 wasted for me and seven weeks of paying telephone service charges a complete waste for my friend!
Both of us travelled with ipads. These were great for downoading photos. But ipads rely on decent WIFI connection and this proved somewhat unreliable. Usually everyone at the hotel would be on the WIFI at the same time and the service, if it worked at all, would be slow at best, at worst dropping out.
Only 3 of about twenty hotels I stayed at had internet services that were generally reliable for guests!
To top it off, my ipad was not up to the tasks demanded by my blog sites and business. It would have been way better to have stuck with my laptop and the extra weight, to have the convenience of my "home office".
Ipads are great for uploading photos, ibooks, brief emails and travel research, however, if you want to maintain your business while you are abroad mine proved little more than an expensive and weighty toy.
Increasingly, ipads are being used as cameras, blocking views for other travellers by their comparative size in relation to the task of taking a simple photo. It's a bit like showing off your latest device in a world where to be "in vogue" means having the latest up to date technology devices, complete with accessories necessary to "see and be seen".
Perhaps, before my next trip I might invest in a "selfie stick", the new phenomena that is sweeping tourist destinations world wide. It is what one fellow traveller described as "like a golf club with a phone attached". Sometimes these selfie takers were truly a phenomenon worth capturing on my trusty camera. The mob taking selfies in front of the Mona Lisa hardly enhanced the experience of Da Vinci's masterpiece, but proved at least as engaging!
I wonder if the selfie generation will use their selfie sticks to avoid wearing glasses when their reading vision deteriorates?
Perhaps I could use one now to attach menus to in restaurants and avoid carrying my spectacles; I too could equally be a trendsetter, given I simply need longer arms to increase legibility. A newspaper on a train perhaps?
For me at least, I would have been better to have saved the extra weight of the ipad and made use of the hotel computers where availabe and purchased a local simcard and cheap cell phone when I arrived.
As for that selfie stick, one that will double as a walking stick and arm extension for reading may yet prove very useful!