While it’s always great to get away from it all, it’s still preferable by most travellers to have a lifeline back home. Whether it’s for emergencies or just to let people know you’re okay (or even to brag about all the fun you’re having!), being able to make free international calls is definitely a plus for any world weary traveller.
Let’s face it, it can get lonely out there and staying in touch with loved ones can bring great comfort to people who just want to hear a familiar voice every now and then. Sure, you meet a ton of people at festivals or just out and about – some of which will become lifelong friends, others momentary acquaintances and some that if you see again it will be too soon – but hearing from those you already know and hold dear to you can perk you up in an instant.
Whenever I go on holiday, I’m always pestered by my mom to let her know I have arrived okay, regardless of where I’m going to or the situation. Years ago on my first trip overseas, I literally had to search for hours to find a working phone so I could make a call back home so she wouldn’t freak out. When I finally made contact, I think she was amused (and hopefully touched) by the great efforts I made to connect. And as much as I hate to admit it, making that connection was just as much for my benefit as it was for hers peace of mind.
That was prior to the days of smartphone apps and 3G networks taking over much of our lives so to say I would’ve benefited from that kind of direct access is a no brainer! Now when I hit the road, I don’t need waste time and brain cells (of which I have so few!) searching for a rapidly disappearing phone booth but instead I can swap out my SIM card and use my phone. Or, even easier, just find a wifi zone and use a company like Rebtel’s calling app to get my call out. People these days have it too easy!
I love getting off the grid as much as the next traveller but it just makes me feel better to know home is just a phone call away. It lets me know the world is mine to explore but I still feel like I’m right in my own backyard.