沒有手機上網的假期 – holidays without Internet

Have you ever been in a situation when you look at other couples, kiss and say ‘We will never be like that’, then few years later you do the exact same thing? Our situation happened image (4)when I went to Hong Kong for the very first time. We entered McDonald’s and saw those couples, who don’t talk to each other, just keep playing with their phones. Little I knew, Hong Kong had and still has great Internet access, lots of free wifi spots etc.
I grabbed Sing’s arms and I told him ‘Look at the phone zombies, that’s sad’. Guess who’s sad now. Ironic, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the times we live in – we can travel really fast, we can communicate with a person thousands kilometers away, even our marriage won’t be seen as misalliance. But everything has a good and a bad side. With all the technology around us we slowly grow apart from each other.
Think about it – how many times you seen people on their phones, looking down, not at each other. When we go to dim sum, Sing keeps saying ‘It’s much more quiet than when I was a kid, we didn’t have iPads so we just kept running and yelling around the tables’. But we usually don’t even think about it, it became just a part of our lives.image (7)

But what it has to do with our trip? Well, we had some communication problems with Orange (French telecommunication company) and the guy told us the only card we can get is 40 euro card with 1GB. I would build up my own company and give myself the Internet hotspot before I pay that much for a card I would use for 3.5 days. So since we were too cheap we ended up with no Internet, couldn’t even connect to public WIFIs.

I have to say that not having phone Internet was one of the best things that happened to us during the trip. For various reasons:

  1. We could rest more. I’m not a popular blogger, but I think I’m pretty addicted to see the stats of the day, check the Facebook page, update Instagram – just a basic ‘blogger update’. I had pressure to check how’s the new post or is there any comment that would make me upset etc., but this time I just scheduled posts in the hotel and let it be. When I was back, I was replying comments and my blogging world didn’t fall apart, like I thought it would.
    Same for Sing – he’s a workaholic, he even got a phonecall during our trip because apparently Out Of Office memo is just a concept that no one uses. But with very limited Internet he just check his mailbox, maybe reply one or two urgent e-mails and that’s it. I had Sing all for myself. Even if he wanted to check something, he had no chance.
  2. image (5)We became a better team. I admit, I’m a terrible travel companion, but it has always been like that and Sing knows I trust him when we travel. But with no apps, sucking GPS and language barrier we had to team up. We used a time vehicle and went back to using paper maps and guide books. We worked together as a team, we looked up the names of the streets. subway exits, places to eat. At the beginning it was difficult to go back to using traditional maps, but it was a really good experience in case of emergency.
  3. We were more aware of surrounding. Everyone warned us about pickpocketing, especially in crowded tourist areas you could see signs all over the place. Since we could focus on each other and the attraction we were more aware what’s going on, we could see if someone is trying to get too close to us. I saw girls so busy with posting a Eiffle Tower selfie that they just left their purses wide open. It was like screaming ‘Take my money, I don’t care’.
  4. We became closer, physically. I know it sounds nasty, but it’s not what you think – because we didn’t have phone cards there was no way we could call each other so we had to stay close together.
  5. We became closer, mentally. We came back to the honeymoon period. I honestly don’t remember when was the last time we talked so much. And even when we didn’t talk, we just look at each other. We smiled a lot more, we just took stupid pictures together. Even Sing decided to ‘sing’ me a serenade (if you still haven’t seen it click here for the video).

At the airplane I told Sing that even if the card is cheap, next time just don’t bother to buy it. I don’t know where or when we will go next time, but I love the no-Internet experience. image (3)Since we came back we put a rule ‘no phones on the table’. I love the opportunities of the world wide web, but I don’t want us to be those phone-zombies again. When I think how much time we wasted staring on the screen instead of each other, it makes me sad. We already had that, we have already been in a long distance relationship, why would we went to go back to the ‘virtual being together’ when we are just meter away?

Have you ever tried traveling without Internet? Do you think it’s better to have the Internet connection rather than not have it? How to balance real and virtual life? Share your experience and wisdom! And of course enjoy your holidays! 🙂

38 thoughts on “沒有手機上網的假期 – holidays without Internet

  1. We actually never traveled with any internet access 24/7. Sure at my in-laws home is wi-fi or in some hotels but that was just when we were there, resting/ going to sleep soon. During the day there was never any internet so I dont know how it would be even to have internet all the time while visiting other countries. So when we eat we just talk and especially she is taking pictures of the food, nothing more and nothing less 🙂


  2. Yeah smartphones really are a curse sometimes. My bf and I are definitely guilty of this, checking our phones way too often. I try to put a limit to it but it is not always easy.


  3. That’s awesome! I saw all your posts and even had a dream about being in Paris after your pictures from the Eiffel Tower haha. Every time I went to Korea, I did without internet most of the time and although I was itching to use my phone, it was nicer because we could go on dates and focus on the two of us and our friends. I’m glad you had a great time!


  4. Wow, cool! And you listed some great reasons for why we should sometimes just not look at our phones.

    I sometimes travel only with a phone where I can text/call someone, nothing else. It feels much more like a real holiday if I don’t go online all the time.


    1. that’s a solution too – even if you wanted, even if you had a mobile plan, you still can’t use it 😉 need to try it with some of the phones we still have. and it’s great because even if you get pickpocketed you don’t lose the most valuable of your phones 🙂


  5. I sometimes feel the same when I see other couples at dinner, just looking at their phones and not talking to each other. Having internet is definitely easier when I travel but even during dinner, I always like to maintain minimal phone contact. I will actually complain to my dinner partner not to bring me out for dinner if I’m just going to stare at him playing with his phone. It’s one of the things that gets on my nerves. So he has since learnt to put his phone aside. He does check it occasionally as he claims he needs to check his work e-mail but for the most part of dinner, I make sure he keeps his attention on me. He has learnt after all my naggings…;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always say – nagging is the best way to get something from the partner haha 🙂 I started throwing his phone to my purse and put it by my side, so there’s no way he could look at it under the table haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha…yes, sometimes you have no choice but to nag…good that you managed to find a way to get it away from him..no excuses now…😉


  6. I love travelling without any internet devices (or only at the hotel at night).
    The first time it wasn’t by choice but because my telephone doesn’t work overseas, only with the wifi… but little by little I learned to enjoy passing my days and I like it better that way 🙂


  7. I usually end up spending the day without internet when I’m travelling, except for the wifi at the accomodation (if I’m lucky most of the time). During my last trip, I didn’t even bother to ask for the passwork. Instead I had done my homework and written everything down in my little brown book. Armed with that, and several maps, we set out in the city. And honestly, that one of my most favourite things to do. I’m usually hooked on so much on my phone and ipad that this is a breath of fresh air for me 🙂 Although my boyfriend and I tend to argue on who’s reading the map wrong (I’m studying geography so obviously it’s not me)


  8. Oh, people in my office, they LOVE seeing the Out Of Office memo. To them, seeing that memo means “Oh this chap is gone for few days, let’s email him instead and let all the issues park with him so we can take a break for a few days!”, so nowadays when I go for vacation, I rather NOT turn on that thing…


    1. here if you don’t leave one they will call you from Ireland, China and the US 😀 luckily only one production guy ignored the memo but Sing was like ‘not picking it up, if they want me to answer let them pay for my phone card and roaming next time’ 😀 I think since this, they will just ignore him 😀


  9. I started to travel in the days before free wifi, when mobiles won’t work in the USA or it was too expensive to use your phone in another country, so I know all about travelling with no internet! If we wanted time alone to explore, we say meet you back at this point in an hour. I’ll admit I’m glad tour guide books are on line, saves carrying one around, you discover more whats on and where to go. Though when we’re out about exploring a different country the only wifi I use will be hotel. It’s still too expensive to use 3/4G if not in home country or for me from Spain it is. I’m happy you had a great time in Paris!


  10. It is actually a very good idea to travel without internet. It is amazing the amount of time we waste checking once and over again if someone left a comment, etc. I am also one of those people haha.

    The longest time I have travelled was 4 weeks, a few years ago. I think during that time I only used the internet twice, in the hostel. It felt liberating! I will totally try to do it next time I am on holidays.


  11. When I went to China with no phone service, I only used WiFi at the hotel. I found myself going to bed earlier (10pm instead of 12am).

    For Japan and Taiwan, we had a portable WiFi hotspot which was of immense help when going around, especially checking train directions and finding directions via Google Maps.

    It’s always good to have a “rest day” for your eyes by shutting off your phone!


  12. I can relate to this post so well! Everything on it has been happening to my husband and I lately. I love synchronicity! Thanks for blogging darlin’ and helping me to feel more connected to the world!


  13. Yes! We had no internet a few weeks back on a mini road trip and it was glorious. No pressure, it was easy to be present and I got more sleep and zonked out faster than I have in ages! Now, how to do this every day…. 😀


  14. When I travel, I rarely have a computer on me. I don’t own a cellphone.

    When I’m with dearie on vacation, he often lugs around his laptop. But when we are cycling locally and visiting local attractions, we don’t carry a computer on us at all.

    So I use it to check emails and read Internet for 1-2 hrs. Or be at a hotel to use their free internet computer. Usually for max. of 1-2 hrs. daily or just email for half an hr.

    That’s all that’s really needed daily if you really need to be hooked to the Internet while on vacation.


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