Nothing brings me more joy in a foreign country than free Wi-Fi.
I never pay for data or any sort of phone plan overseas. Rather, when travelling, I turn my phone to airplane mode when leaving the wi-fi-comfort of my hotel or hostel.
This is nothing groundbreaking. Airplane mode, for those of you who don’t know, takes your phone offline. Turning it off saves you from forking out a gargantuan amount of money on international roaming costs. It’s nothing new, and unless you’re evading tax and also on a seven-figure salary, I’m sure you do the same.
Recently, I travelled to London, where I put my airplane mode game into hyper-drive. I would make sure to flick my phone to airplane mode before leaving my hotel. I made it my mission to not pay for a single kilobyte of upmarket, well-dressed, British data.
As a result, I wouldn't receive calls or texts while out and about. No Facebook notifications, no Instagram stories, no Tripadvisor reviews of nearby restaurants filled with spite and malice.
Between the hours of 8am and 6pm, my phone was, essentially, a brick. A podcast playing, photo-taking brick.
And I loved it.
Returning to the hotel at the end of each day, my phone would light up with missed calls and updates from friends and family and it was like a drug. A hit so full of ecstasy and overwhelm I elected simply to bathe in my popularity. I had no idea to whom I should respond first.
It was fantastic.
Of course, the amount of correspondence flooding in at the end of each day was no different to the amount I would've received had I left airplane mode off. I was, however, noticeably happier on a day-to-day basis.