How do you stay connected when you don’t have cell phone service? How do you find out about breaking news when you’re not handed headlines by CBS interrupting the new episode of Big Bang Theory?

What a modern first world dilemma.

When you’re traveling, you’re removed from your normal day-to-day routine and can easily find yourself disconnected. You realize the world is a lot bigger, and more accessible than you thought. It’s easy to get lost (literally and figuratively) in it.

I’ve found myself in a lot of different time zones, and now being in New Zealand, I’m in an entirely different hemisphere. It takes a lot more effort to keep in contact with family and friends when you’re not on the same schedule. I regularly wake up with a full day’s worth of notifications – shoutout to my family group chat AKA Frankie’s Ladies. 

“Hale why aren’t you answering?”

Uhm because you’re texting me about the lunch you’re eating at Taco Tuesday while it’s 5am on Wednesday here. Gimme a break.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to know what you’re doing, and what you’re eating. I want to know what’s happening in the little bubble of the world I used to live in. Is the weather nice? Is Wawa delivering yet? Who’s pregnant? Are there safer gun laws yet? Any major earthquakes or wild fires or hurricanes or nuclear catastrophes?

Let’s be real, sh!t has really hit the fan around the world recently, and as disheartening as it may be, I think people have a responsibility to be aware of what’s going on – around the world, and of course at home. Yeah it takes a bit of effort, but if you are a responsible human and care about the state of the society you live in, it’s really not that hard. I think it’s about time people outgrow the comfort of ignorance.

And if you weren’t at least a litttttttle bit interested in what the rest of the world is like, you probably wouldn’t have left home to travel in the first place 🙂

Here are 4 simple ways to stay connected to your own corner of the world while you’re on the road / in the air / floating / hitchhiking / all of the above.

Friends and Family
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WHATSAPP – A messaging app that uses wifi – don’t worry about blowing up your cell phone bills. You can use this app while your phone is on airplane mode which also saves precious battery life.

The internet connection capabilities allow you to video and audio chat too, same as facetime on an iPhone.

Time stamps and read receipts help your friends and family keep track of your activity, which I know mine appreciate. You can avoid the “Are you alive???” texts.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Unless you live under a rock, this is obvious. Even my mom uses social media (to the best of her abilities) and she has trouble just checking her voicemail. *sorry ma*

Instagram and Facebook are great for pics, and Twitter is good for quick updates. Not going to go into this too much because if you don’t already know then you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place. Oh and by the way…

GLOBALHALES lifestyle blog tips for travel on instagram

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THE SKIMM – A free daily dose of readable news, mixed with a couple one liners, sent to your inbox. Perfect for timezone hoppers, short attention spans, and digital news loyalists.

If you’re looking for academic, serious and stale news pieces, skip this. The Skimm’s goal is to “make it easier to be smarter,” and helps make the breaking news a bit more accessible for people who don’t have the patience or interest for in-depth journalism like New York Times, et al.

Click here to check them out and get yourself on the list. If it’s good enough for Lena Dunham and Oprah it’s probably good enough for you too.

VICE NEWS DAILY – Possibly the most intellectual and eye-opening 30 minutes you’ll spend on an online streaming site (find this on HBO GO). Is it considered “binging” if what you’re watching actually contributes to your worldly awareness??

Vice touches on both the big headlines (aka 2016 election) and also some other lesser-reported news, mixed with human interest. Their entire broadcast is driven by Vice News reporters, intimate personal interviews, and boots-on-the-ground field crews –  making the stories incredibly compelling.

They’ll transport you to news around the world, from the rubble of Aleppo and the front lines of ISIS to extrajudicial police killings in the Philippines and humanitarian crisis in Sudan. I’ll be honest, it can get heavy, but it’s really staggering to see all the things happening right now around the world.

You can also access snippets of Vice News Daily on their Youtube channel 


So whether you’re hotel hopping for work or out traveling the world, there’s no excuse to fall off the face of it.

Check out more from GH:

stay healthy while traveling backpacker tips
Don’t thwart you #summerbod goals
Save money to travel on a budget
It’s easier than you think.