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31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 7 - Keeping in Touch with Home

Our mother was a little nervous about both her girls traveling so far away from home. She made us promise that we would never leave each other's side and we kept our promise. She's practical and didn't want us to spend the money to talk to her on the phone - an email a day was enough to put her fears to rest.

My sister and I took Kindles with us. They were lightweight and gave us WiFi connections to stay connected with our mom and we used them internet access for weather reports as well as details on places we wanted to visit. Most of the hotels we stayed at offered free WiFi. It wasn't until we got to Florence that we had to pay for access. Our first hotel charged 5 euros for 24 hours and the second charged the same amount for 20 minutes. In Rome it was back to being free.

My boss travels to Europe frequently for business so she has a smart phone that can be used internationally and all she has to do is purchase an international package for the days she's traveling. Once again, I'm old school and don't have a smart phone so we didn't make phone calls the whole time we were gone. The only time this would have been nice was in London when we had trouble contacting the tour company but our hotel helped us out and placed the call for us. It was nice to be unavailable for those three weeks.

I also didn't access Facebook or Twitter while I was gone. Since my house was sitting empty, I didn't want to advertise that I was out of town and it was nice to not feel overwhelmed by a Facebook and Twitter feed to keep up with. It seemed appropriate to unplug while visiting places that had been around for hundreds and thousands of years. It helped me to stay in the moment and enjoy my surroundings instead of always checking what was going on back home.

I highly recommend taking the break from social media and just taking in what's right in front of you. You won't regret it.

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