I can’t imagine what travelling solo would have been like without a phone. No online maps, no hostel-booking service, no online forums.
My phone has died a few times when I’ve been on long journeys and each time I felt a little lonelier than I had when it was alive. It’s a measure of safety that I think many of us overlook and they’re important pieces of kit whilst on the road.
I’ve made a fair few long journeys in my time. Overnight trains, planes and buses; most surpassing the 8-hour mark.
When you’re in a new place you can’t be sure of anything. Assuming that all forms of transport have USBs or WiFi is a huge mistake. I’ve been there. Even in England it’s hit and miss.
I travelled a 9-hour flight on British Airways a couple of years ago - I strolled onto that plane, confident that I could play my music and watch the films I downloaded for the full flight. Of course they’d have plug sockets; or at the very least USB ports.
My complacency and naivety had well gotten the better of me and for the final 5 hours I had to try and make 25% last. What a mammoth task.
When I arrived in Bogota at 1AM that morning, I had a mere 3% left to play with. After enduring a journey that had lasted a total of 14 hours so far, I was battered. All I wanted to do was lie down in my pre-booked hostel bed and sleep. But no.
I managed to get to a taxi rank and tell the driver the address seconds before my phone caved. Machines alone will never beat us.
Any more than a minute longer and I'd have been totally out of luck. On this occasion I wasn't.
I could have remembered to write the address of the hostel down before I left. That would have been a truly fantastic idea.
But I didn't. And I could well forget to do that next time.
And next time who knows what'll happen if my phone dies? Me. I do.
Now I carry a portable charger with me fully charger - wherever I go.
So I'll never have to worry about my phone dying. And all will be well and stress-free.
You should take one with you too.
You never know when you might need it.
*link to portable charger*