Tech Trauma while Traveling

The bulk of the NNIC team left June 9 headed back to Virginia to unpack the conference and the many purchases we procured in Poland.

Floral Dress - Breezing Through-8

The boyfriend left for meetings in Abu Dhabi the day before. He was gone for his birthday and our 32nd wedding anniversary. His trip adventures trump all the others combined. But we will save his Etihad/Air Serbia (formerly Jugoslav Air Transport/JAT – or as his mother used to call it “Just Any Time”) on this short side trip for another day.

Shane, Becky, and I went in search of a replacement charger for my MacBook Air laptop.


Since my model is several generations old, I was dubiously optimistic that we would be able to find a replacement for my defunct charger (now the second replacement). But after visiting two Apple brand stores (called ISpot in Poland),


I was able to find and procure a replacement charger. Lucky me as I had been totally out of communication other than moody text and email on my iPhone 6.

All the other NNIC team members were able to connect to wifi on their phones. Not me. I kept getting an error message that I needed to check with my Verizon Business Administrator to learn how to connect to the local wifi to enjoy the phone and FaceTime, free. I am our Verizon business administrator and will not dwell on that irony.


Remember “MaBell” back in the day. Turns out “MaBell” was bad and disassembled by the U.S. justice system because it was a monopoly. Now we have communication competition. Verizon is the non-monopoly beast that dominates the U.S. communications market today. So, when I get back to the U.S. and call Verizon as the business administrator, they will not have a reason for my inconvenience or even a way to fix the issue I encountered while traveling. The most they might do is apologize for my inconvenience. I have had so many opportunities to speak with Verizon in the years I have operated small businesses. Most of them frustratingly long waits on the phone with little resolution. Emily has had success on twitter, however. The only problem is that this too takes time.

If you buy your phone from Verizon (or other large carriers) they lock it so that you cannot use any other service provider (even if you are out of network or out of the country). Some carriers may unlock your phone if you call them in advance of travel. But, if you buy a phone from the retailer (Apple, let’s just say) then you can purchase plans and SIM cards from any carrier.

So next time I am in Europe I can take advantage of reasonable calling rates, wifi access, and other benefits that Verizon (or other carriers) limit me from using when I travel abroad or to parts of the U.S. where Verizon does not have coverage.

So if you do travel and need flexibility with your phone, make sure you know how your carrier unlocks your phone or pay the extra for the phone so that the carrier does not have the ability to lock it. This will enable you to have the flexibility to use your phone to its full capacity. Not something I knew before this trip. Thanks Shane! To learn more check out this link

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