Why I won’t be getting a SIM card in my new country

  From my hike this morning at Mt. Tibidabo
From my hike this morning at Mt. Tibidabo

I recently relocated to Barcelona Spain. Yesterday morning, actually, after living in Dallas for 4 years and then a brief stint in New York for 3 months. 

I was confronted with the sharp feeling of panic in my stomach a few minutes after landing and switching off airplane mode: “no service” in the upper left corner of my phone. 

The now reflexive response is to immediately search for nearby wifi networks. Anything that will get me back my regularly scheduled (and oddly comforting) texts, feeds, emails, etc. 

I had a moment of realization. In a moment I had been planning for for a year, dreaming about, and imagining, I was completed consumed and distracted. 

I imagined myself maybe with tears of joy in my eyes to be returning to the city I would say taught me the most about myself or gunning to get off the plane and set up the life I’d worked so hard to build. 

But no. I was riddled with anxiety over the words “no service”. Maybe it’s that constant connectivity has become a sort of pacifier of emotion for me (and many others). Likely, the wave of emotions I was experiencing due to the initiation of huge life change caused me to reach for something familiar. 

I eventually (maybe 10 short minutes later) I connected to free airport wifi and felt my panic reside. Like I was a 4 year old abc someone just handed me a piece of candy. 

Bracing for another departure from a “connectivity safe haven”, I got into my cab to my new apartment. It wasn’t until I had no choice but to look out the window at my new home, uninterrupted, that I realized something is very wrong with waves of feeling in reaction to wifi. 

So I let everyone know via email i would be off the grid for the day and would contact them at 6pm when I got home to my laptop. I spent the rest of the day shopping, talking with my roommates, going out, etc. – all without service. 

I had planned to go buy a SIM card today but I don’t think that will be happening anymore. 

I run my business remote, so I understand the importance of staying connected. But I’m also realizing when too much is too much. 

I will simply let people know when I will be on wifi and available. My time will be spent without service. I will use tools like Calendly to allow clients to book times to call to plan out my schedule so business productivity isn’t affected. 

We’ll see if my objection to 24/7 communication helps or hinders my business. 

My hope is that my real connectivity (to who and what is around me) and overall productivity will see a new era with this move.