Normally when I travel to Haiti and India, I do not pay the additional cellular charges incurred if I use my phone internationally. In Haiti, I use the translator’s phone to make any necessary calls and it is cheaper for me to call home using the Haitian phone than it is to use my Verizon phone in Haiti. As we embark on our trip to the villages where we live and work, I usually purchase extra minutes for the translator, so he will have sufficient minutes for my use. In India, we have normally stayed in hotels during our trip, so I use WiFi at the hotels to make calls through FaceTime or WhatsApp.
Since I use these other channels for communication back to home, I normally leave my cellular phone on Airplane Mode during the entirety of my international trip. This means when I am away from WiFi, my phone is best used as a camera, book reading, or game-playing device. I find that I look at my phone much less when I do not have a cellular connection, and I spend much more time talking with the people, reading/studying, and praying. My life is more fulfilled and I have a tendency to learn more about Jesus, the local people, and the people with whom I am traveling.
I am making a commitment to spend more time on “Airplane Mode” once I return from India. This does not mean I will actually put my phone on Airplane Mode, but it does mean I will audit my time and usage of electronics to assure I am spending more time with God and the people with whom I am face to face than with my phone. Will you join me in making an “Airplane Mode” commitment? Let’s put our phones down and make sure we are connecting with God and others.