This bird might have learned Morse Code, I spotted him based on his pecking of the tree and was able to get several nice pictures.
Last week I ranted about cell or mobile phones, but they have made travel so much easier. Between email, phone calls and text messages I can travel anyplace in the country and my communication follows me. It is rare to be out of range, or suffer a loss of signal, though it can happen. I remember my first cell phone, paying $30 a month, for 30 minutes of time, no data, and the calls all had to be in a limited geographic area. Extra minutes were 29-cents a minute, long distance as about $1 a minute. Now we are free to roam with unlimited nationwide calling.
International travel has also become easier to remain in communications. I have a plan with my provider that when my phone connects to a phone service provider outside of the country, I get a text message. If I continue to use the service, I am charged $10 a day, for calls and a limited amount of data (the amount of data varies slightly from place to place.) This is handy, but if I am out of the country for a couple of weeks, it adds up fast. I manage this by only turning my phone on when I want it on, not leaving it on all of the time. I manage data, by setting data, and email to only work when I have a Wi-Fi data connection - and nearly every hotel offers this anymore. I carry a tablet, that only connects by WiFi, and that becomes my primary connection for email, and and web content such as blogs and Facebook. On the two week trip to Ireland, I used 9 days, or $90 worth of international service. I had about 6 days of no phone service and that is okay, it worked just fine. It was nice to get away and actually be away.
The only time this lets me down, is when I am Detroit and I get too close to the border, and my phone picks up the network across the river. If I call and bitch, they will generally take the charge off, sometimes for $10, it is not worth the time and trouble.
Over the years I have looked at unlocked phones and local SIM cards, I have looked at specialty travel phones that provide pre-paid by the minute international service. For the way I use my phone, the numbers have never made sense.
What is your strategy for staying in contact when traveling?