the hardest part of traveling full-time + what helps me overcome it

Traveling full-time isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s the worst. But, I’m not going to moan about my life. I love traveling and I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have seen all that I have in such depth. Rather than complain about what is ultimately an extreme privilege, I figured I’d just lay out what the hardest part of traveling is and how I do my best to rise above it.

The hardest part of traveling full-time for me is being away from the people I love.

Yes, traveling is a dream come true. It’s something I love to do and I’m greatly motivated to see as much of the world as thoroughly as I can. Even still, being away for holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and rugby game shenanigans is downright shitty. I’ve crossed oceans repeatedly for friends, family, and lovers alike. Staying connected with them and maintaining those meaningful relationships is of the utmost importance to me. You can imagine then that traveling without them or away from them is difficult, to say the very least.

For most people, buying a SIM card in every new place they go is enough. Since my American iPhone seems to dislike almost every alternative SIM card I try, I prefer to travel with portable WiFi connection and eliminate the gamble. That’s why I love TEP wireless.


here’s how I stay connected while I’m traveling


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pocket-sized solution

I’m just at the age where I remember how travel was before Instagram, Pinterest, and portable WiFi. The days when you had to have a physical, paper map to navigate from place to place. I once had to go into a hotel in France and use their phone, which was a land line by the way, because I didn’t have a smartphone at the time and data wasn’t even really a thing. It’s almost too bizarre for me to fully grasp that if I ever have children, they won’t know travel the harder, less convenient way. Navigating a new destinations with map apps, scanning boarding passes, and managing bookings is easy as ever thanks to TEP Wireless. Most recently, in Hong Kong, I navigated my way to local food recommendations and Instagram locales with the WiFi provided by TEP.

On top of making travel easier, WiFi has become a bit of a necessity for my work. Emailing editors and creating content to be published online means being connected to the online world at least at times with a strong connection. At times, when the internet hasn’t been good at my accommodation while traveling, I’ve hooked up to my TEP to send work through.

Without question, however, the best thing about using TEP is the comfort of never being too far away from friends and family. I hate the internet 90% of the time, but there is a strange sense of comfort that comes with having it available. Being online brings my loved ones closer to me. FaceTime, Messenger, Skype, and apps of the like cut through the glaring distances and make me feel more connected— pun intended. Even when I am thousands of miles away from the ones who mean the most, which is usually, knowing I can message or video chat with them wherever I am eliminates anxieties and FOMO {fear of missing out}. Over winter in London, I easily messaged my best friend from Notting Hill to the Tower Bridge. And, in Hanoi, while traveling solo, I had a Valentine’s Day video call over Indian dinner.


WHAT IS TEP

A TEP device is essentially a wireless internet router. Unlike the wireless router in your home, TEP is travel-friendly. Portable, pocket-sized, and lightweight, TEP doesn’t require cables and is easy to set up, even for the most technologically illiterate {a.k.a. me}. All you have to do is turn it on and have the password for your TEP device. With TEP, you can travel while securely online in over 100 countries worldwide.

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HOW IT WORKS

You can connect up to five devices up to your TEP, including your smartphone, laptop, and iPads or Tablets. To connect to your TEP, simply power it on and look for your TEP’s network name in the list of WiFi connections. enter your TEP device password. Your TEP will then find a connection and your phone {or laptop, etc.} will be connected.

BUYING VS. RENTING

If you DON’T travel regularly, then renting a TEP device is an easy way to stay connected without the fuss of owning another gadget that will eventually end up in your junk drawer. It’s also a great idea for first-time users to rent a device and see if they like it before they purchase one. If you love your TEP, you will be given the option to purchase it at the end of your rental agreement!

If you DO travel regularly, buying a TEP device makes a lot of sense and cuts out any hassle returning it only to re-rent it might be.

You can purchase or rent your TEP device online here. Your TEP will be mailed to you, and comes with a charging port in a {super cute} carrying case {see London photos at the top of this post}. Charge it up, turn it on, and stay connected. Renters can return their device at a designated drop-off location or mail it back. It’s suggested to do so in a trackable envelope with a reliable mailing service like FedEx or DHL. For more information on pick-up points, returning your device, and other FAQs, read here.

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Overall, TEP has really been the MVP of my relationships lately. In London, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, I’ve had TEP to help me hold my loved ones closer, share my travel experiences with the people I wish were physically with me, and stay connected to them all {literally and figuratively}. Leaving chunks of my heart in particular parts of the world doesn’t have to be all tears and heartache, because as long as I have my TEP in my pocket, the fam are never more than a video call away!


Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with TEP Wireless. It contains affiliate links, which means if you use my link when renting or purchasing a TEP device, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you.


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