American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
Happy Friday! Yay! You made it to one of my favorite days of the week! In all honesty, I think each day of the week is special in its own way, but there’s a special kind of excitement that goes hand-in-hand with Fridays, knowing that Friday night kicks off the weekend! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “not just mac’s… supermac’s” - you can catch up now by clicking here! Also, if you didn’t get the chance to vote for me to be the next #MaximCoverGirl, you can click here to vote or click here to read about why it’s important to me (and then vote!). You can vote once every twenty-four hours, and I’d be so grateful for your support! If you’re all caught up, well then buckle in, kiddos! We’re taking this virtual tour back to Dublin to talk about something that might get my more opinionated self going a little bit — my Irish sim card.
The day after my fellow Masters friends had orientation, food at Supermac’s, and pints at Cassidy’s, I walked myself up from Rathmines to Grafton Street to visit 3 Ireland, a cell phone service provider. Multiple people I had spoken to during orientation the night before suggested I get an Irish sim card during my year living abroad because it would end up saving me a lot of money. I was new to this concept, assuming I would just use my regular cell phone on WiFi instead of using data and then make sure I only used data for emergencies.
BOY AM I GLAD I GOT A SIM CARD. If you ever travel, I one-zillion-million percent (yes, it’s a real number) recommend getting a monthly sim card for whichever country you visit/decide to inhabit. I have NO idea how cell phone service providers get away with charging as much money as they do on a monthly basis in the United States. My Irish sim card was 20 euros per month. And what did 20 euros per month get me? Well, I’m so happy you asked! For the small fee of 20 euros per month, I got free calls to other phones within the 3 network (which I admit wasn’t a big selling point), but that 20 euros also got me completely unlimited data. Do you know how incredible it is to have unlimited data for essentially the equivalent of 25 US dollars per month? It’s no wonder most people in Europe use WhatsApp. Once I had my Irish sim card, I was able to use WhatsApp to not only text my friends and family, I could also call them and video chat them through the app using data. I promise this is not an ad for WhatsApp by any means; WhatsApp was simply the tool by which I could most easily use data to call home. No, the realization I came to in my move to Europe was that American cell phone companies are overcharging American citizens out the wazoo. I know most of us are shaking our heads as in “duh, Johny, that’s a no-brainer,” but I think it’s important to shed some light on how bad the pricing is compared to when I lived in Europe. Now I’m not saying that living in Europe was better than living in the US. I miss Ireland everyday, but America is my home. What I am saying is that my cheaper cell phone expense and unlimited data also eliminated my need to pay for internet since I could use my phone as a hot-spot, which also saved me money. Furthermore, my cell phone data was not only unlimited in Ireland, but also in every country in the EU and the UK at the time I lived there based on a political, legal agreement among the nations, (though I’m not sure whether or not this has changed) including England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Austria, and Germany - all countries I visited while I lived overseas.
I know this post got a bit ranty, which is not my usual tone when posting about my travels, so I apologize for that! To be clear, though, I loved the freedom I felt knowing I could use my phone at any time without worrying about going over my data limit and incurring any additional charges. Isn’t that absence of worry I felt important to discuss given the state of America and the global economy at the current moment? If you have feelings about this, I want to hear them. I don’t know how to change anything other than bringing light to the topic, so if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe from all different chapters of my life (and from people I don’t know *yet*)! The other stories of people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about the crazy stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together, and I'm excited to hear of any ideas you have that could disrupt the way cell phone companies charge Americans! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
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