Sunday, May 07, 2017

Travelling without free WiFi

Free-o pavment artist

Whilst access to WiFi is becoming pretty ubiquitous in most cities and tourist traps. Even if the hotel still charge too much, a trip to the local coffee shop (ok you have to wait a while for that captive log-in screen to load and then given a throw away email address) or steps of the local library will let you get on-line. Some towns like Freemantle have free WiFi zones. (for example this street artist was photographed on my phone and uploaded to Flickr using the free WiFi, elapsed time not even 2 minutes). Could the on-line life be any simpler?

imageMy travel kit, particularly the computer side, has become very small, light weight and portable (all based around the little HP Spectre 2-in-1) and accessories. This leaves the issue that the only way to communicate is via WiFi. Whilst my android phone can be a WiFi hot spot, I also now carry a neat little 4G WiFi modem, which is fast and has more & cheaper data capacity (data over the mobile phone network is still very expensive in Australia) This is great when the hotel are charging an arm & a leg for net access, or there just isn't WiFi available (such as at the beach or a tranquil picnic spot).

However once you get off the beaten track, there is a lot of Australia with no wifi and little or no mobile phone coverage either. Be warned, intermittent mobile coverage is more frustrating for net access than none at all.

Pepermint Grove Beach, WA

So there is silence, the hustle and bustling modern world and social media will have to wait (or not even bother you at all). Life if simpler and you can wander around and just enjoy living. It’s quiet an experience, definitely worth a try, even if WiFi is available try pushing that WiFi slider to the left and turn it off for a day, an afternoon or even a couple of hours and get back to living.

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