I think I had lost my way. Only a few days before did I follow the same way or so I thought. It seemed like no big deal walking all the way from Asakusa to the north of Taito, where my ultra shabby factory –turned-hostel accommodation was situated but Tokyo’s streets do look very much alike, especially if you are new. It was my second week here and I remembered the first time I played guide through these streets was with the help of my google maps app. How I hated it. And how I longed for it right now. I hated that, too.
Being Cheap and Stubborn is not a Good Mix
My USA sim card with internet connection had expired and now I was all on my own with my generally rather reliable sense of direction. I guess my mind had the same confusion issues like google maps does in Asian countries (don’t even try the walking feature in Korea). I didn’t know about helpful offline map apps like I do now and so I had to strain my mind to try and remember the dark alleyways I had followed. I never take the direct route. Maybe I should start doing that.
I made it back after about one and a half hour (with a short stop at a local Gyūdon place to get the kids menu for the anime figurine special) and vowed to not cut down on my budget so much that I would bitterly regret it. After all, my cheapskate ways had caused a lot of trouble during the time I lived in Tokyo. And so I vowed to not repeat my mistakes again. I did, though, in some more Japanese cities and then in Cape Town (while the lights were turned off and I had to wander through the pitch black streets down Table Mountain and blinded by oncoming car lights). This had to change!
Capable of Learning after all
And so before I wound up in the US of A, I got in touch with Ready Sim who kindly provided me with sim cards to cover my stay and not make a fool of myself again. This helped me a lot as the USA is not very pedestrian friendly. Heck, there weren’t any sidewalks at all in some places (old town in Jacksonville, I’m talking to you!) and bus stops felt like they were miles out of the city centre, which meant walking for 30 up to 90 minutes. Luckily, I had my wifi and could freely call an uber. And I called them a lot (here’s a free uber ride for you to save your feet as well).
I also had so many stops, seeing 10 cities in 30 days, and the bus wifi was not always the most reliable. Since I spent a lot of time on buses or hostels, I decided to use the time to write my posts, keeping you up to date on my journeys, and I reserved a lot of my research time for interrogations of locals or on-the-go online searches. You can’t imagine how happy I was not to have to stop in each and every Starbucks (in Japan, you need a password for them as well!) or Fast Food chain to catch some wifi. I had my own USA sim card and was mighty proud of it.
Don’t Expect the Moon but Don’t Push too Hard Either
Granted, it did not work super smoothly all the time. In some cities my first USA sim card decided to tease my old phone and slow down my apps and freeze my phone occasionally when I turned impatient (another thing I need to work on). The second sim I received, was better behaved and treated my phone nicely. With both sim cards, though, you shouldn’t walk around at a brisk pace and try to strain google searches for last minute updates. Try standing and then using the internet. (Yes, patience, you heard that right.)
While I was in Costa Rica for two weeks, I had long stretches of time without a working sim card and felt terrible for not being able to show you all my adventure live and in the moment, but as soon as I hit the Grand Canyon for a day, I could take you along on my rim walks and failed attempts at canyon hikes. Travelling for such a long time and across countries and time zones sure makes it hard to stay connected all the time but so far getting a local sim with a great data deal worked quite well for me and I hope it continues to in the future.
I thank Ready Sim for being so helpful with supplying me USA sim cards to cover me throughout my stay and their customer service for being so patient when my phone and sim had some cooperation issues. As always, my opinion is not affected by sponsorings and my stories and opinions remain uniquely my own.