Lesson 5: Wifi

We are living in the age of wifi, and I don’t know about you but it kinda snuck up on me! Gone are the days of Internet café’s and enormous fees to get online, now it’s all about wifi – free wifi! I feel like we take this service for granted, not realising what an essential lifeline it can be.
I came to this conclusion when I went to America.
Not wanting to incur enormous phone charges I decided that my phone would remain on flight mode for the duration of my stay (this turned out to be slightly unnecessary as 95% of the time the locals couldn’t even get service – that’s Vermont for you!), however I took my iPhone knowing I would be able to connect to wifi at some point. So I figured I’d be able to contact my loved ones every so often, whenever I could find a free wifi – I was not expecting the volume of wifi access I was about to discover. Seriously. Airports; hotels; restaurants; shops; cafés; stations; buses; trains; pubs; streets! The list is never ending and ever growing. We are being spoilt. This revelation caused me (and my British friends) to obsess over wifi, literally. We became experts at seeking out the best free connections, information that became vital to me when I visited NYC at the end of my trip and almost immediately got lost. However, I now knew to just stand outside a Starbucks or a McDonald’s and use their wifi to find my way! This service literally saved me.
I am currently in Australia and am experiencing the same wifi craze. I can’t remember the last time I was able to snapchat someone whenever I wanted without first going through the tedium of connecting to a wifi, yet I am thankful for this. I feel so lucky to be able to connect to the Internet fairly conveniently (we all know that most free wifi connections suck, but I’ve become great at scoping out the good ones), and the companies that provide this service are definitely on to a winner. For instance when choosing between fast food restaurants I would have no hesitation in choosing the one with the free wifi, duh. Thanks McDonalds.
I know that when I touch down in the good old UK and my phone finally comes off flight mode, enables 3G, and I send my first snapchat, I will be absolutely amazed at the power of technology. Soon I will become accustomed to my freedom again, and maybe sometimes I’ll take it for granted. I hope not, I hope I remember that I was able to get online for 9 months solely from stealing people’s wifi. Sweet!

Lesson learnt:

Not having an Internet connection at all times is not the end of the world, but if you’re clever you can get online for free pretty much anywhere.

More posts to come on the incredible and surprising lessons I learnt whilst living and working at a summer camp in Vermont USA.

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