In this day of connectivity, how do you stay connected in a good way, but unconnect from everything that you'd like to be unconnected from? The first time that James and I went to Europe together, we had just graduated from law school and finished taking the Bar (which was 20 years ago this month). We didn't have cell phones or laptops. Nothing to worry about in terms of staying connected. We just bought some travel guides, hopped on a plane and off we went (oh that it actually was that simple then, but that's how I remember it). We had an amazing 6 week trip traveling all over Europe, with only a few minor glitches (oh that it actually was that way then, but that's how I choose to remember it!) Someday when I run out of things to write about on this trip, I'll write a little bit about that trip. There are so many funny stories.
But, I digress (I think I do that a lot, sorry!). I'm talking about staying connected, in a good way. James and I both have iphones and I have to say that we have come to depend upon them for everything, especially when we travel! I find restaurant reviews (Yelp is a favorite), and we read about things to see and do in new places. We also get our email, talk to friends and family and read our kindles...all on our iphones. (I won't even mention the endless Scrabble marathons we have, also.)
When contemplating two months without my iphone, I was fairly sad. I couldn't imagine walking through the Louvre without my handy, dandy iphone telling me the juicy tidbits of why Mona Lisa was smiling. I also couldn't imagine just walking into a restaurant in a little village without at least a hint as to someone else's opinion. (Is that bad? Should I be more adventuresome and just say...ooh, this looks good, let's try it? I know that I will be doing just that for many dining adventures this summer, but I like the idea of having the fall back of seeing what Michelin or Bob from SF had to say about a place.)
Why would I not have my iphone you ask? Ummm, AT&T international plan SUCKS! There, I said it. The data cost was going to be outrageous, not to mention just calling on the phone. Oh, what were we going to do? In comes St. James...to the rescue! Since we have V1, V2 and V3 phones (and now the new V4's) (V stands for version...I know each version has a name like G1 or G3 or something, but I don't know what those names are and St. James isn't around to ask), he said that he thought out of the 3 older version phones, we should be able to "unlock" at least one, so we could use the phone in France with a French sim card. What that meant is that we could use our great phones, but at a local cost, instead of international. I said, sign me up!
My phone happened to be the V2 phone and since I never plug it into the computer, my software rarely gets updated. I guess I was running a software version that was one back from what James had on the V1 & V3 phones. Lucky for me, because that meant we could unlock (or jailbreak...such a better term) my phone. Since the other two phones had the most current software, they couldn't be broken out of jail. Yippee, we were going to have at least one iphone to use. That was really all we needed, plus one other regular phone in case we decide to separate during the trip (like, Kerry, Katie and me go shopping in Paris while James & Ethan visit some old museum...oh, I didn't say that!). Anyway, we were just going to buy a cheapo phone when we got to France, so we'd have two.
Then the best thing happened...Apple released a new iphone (V4 to me) and all of a sudden, James was able to jailbreak our other two iphones! Now we'll have plenty of iphones (running French sim cards, so we'll have French telephone numbers) to enjoy accessing the intricate details about the three of us have all come to love. (Actually, James has come to love this...Ethan and I just roll our eyes when a question is asked (even a harmless wondering) and James immediately finds some website that gives us an incredibly detailed answer...which he proceeds to read to us...all 7 paragraphs worth. Ethan has gotten very good about not asking WHY questions anymore!)
I'll write about what plan we actually use after we're in France...we have a couple of options and will decide there. Also, I just want to say that I could have been a lot more technical in this post and used all the correct lingo and really tried to impress you with my technical savvy...but I know you all would have just laughed...so I didn't even try. In the end, that's probably good for all of you.
My new iphone V4...which we won't be using in France cause it's still in jail!