Traveling old style

This post is the first of a series that will document my experience of the new Samsung Galaxy Note II, together with Scoop TechLab and Telecom NZ. The phone didn’t quite get to me before I left on my overseas holiday, so I’m starting my ‘traveling with and without roaming’ blog without any phone at all.

While I’m waiting for the arrival of the phone, apparently to be delivered to my mother-out-laws’ apartment in Vienna, I’m existing with my current dumb-phone. That is, my iPhone 4 with no roaming (so I can afford to eat when I get home) and therefore no data (apart from Wifi) or phone – 80c/ text doesn’t sound like much until you’ve got a few stacked up (they stack up fast).

So pretty much my phone is useful for playing games and being online around the house.

This situation has highlighted for me the potential delights of having a smart phone with all the features turned on to accompany me on my travels.

In just a few short days I have missed:
Maps! Although Apple Maps have taken a massive downhill slide since iOS6, they still generally get you heading in the right direction, especially in major cities. Being able to find the blue locator dot, set your destination and head off secure in the knowledge you won’t be detouring for hours in the wrong direction. This one small feature would have eased a lot of in-car tension as we fought our way through the bizarre Viennese traffic system this afternoon, with the local refusing to ask for help and the visitors (us) helpless without maps.


Twitter. Love it or hate it, it passes the time on the subway, or in the back of the car when you’re trying to ignore the tension of the ‘lost in Vienna’. It’s an outlet for rage, for frustration, for wonder, for banal nothingness. It’s part of my life and being without it on the road is a bit disconcerting.


Transport help. Which subway do we need, which mix of underground and train system, how long will it take, do we have time for a coffee?


Language. Being seconded to the kitchen and expected to prepare Xmas feasts for 20 guests would be vastly easier if I knew what the herbs and spices were called.


Sharing. Not just for Twitter, but being away from family at Xmas can be a bit tough. So sharing photos on Facebook or Flickr as part of the day would be good.


Massage. Well ok, just products and services in general. But I pulled a muscle in my neck and I really do need a massage. Also to find a gym, the closest chemist, the best bike shop.


Airbnb. The ‘staying-with-family’ novelty wore off pretty fast. The Airbnb app would’ve been very helpful for finding alternative accommodation.


What’s on. Where should we go, what’s happening in the city, where’s the best Xmas market, the best bratwurst and glühwein, the English movies.
So bring it on Samsung Galaxy Note II. I’ve got LOTS of things to do with you when you arrive!

Brenda Leeuwenberg