Today I gave in… I will have been abroad for 6 months tomorrow (because there is no February 29th), and today after 6 months, I finally gave in and bought myself a sim card.
When I left Canada, I had my Canadian phone held, I was a minority for the first time in my life. I moved to a country where I stood out, something I had never been in my life. I planned to come here with only access to wifi. I knew it was going to be difficult to make this change. I would only be able to talk to my parents when I was home at night with wifi, but I was ready to make the adjustment and make these changes because I wanted a full experience and new change of being abroad.
I was ready to make a whole change on my life, re-brand myself and when I was coming home I wanted to be different than who I was when I left. This included the amount of time I spent on my phone. At home everything was at the tips of my fingers… I was coming to a third world, developing country, not everything was going to be at my finger tips and I wanted to fully experience this, but after 6 months this changed.
I opted to get a SIM card while I was in Europe, because I wasn’t staying anywhere long enough to develop the same connections and friendships that I was going to be able to make in Trinidad, so instead of winding up LOST, even though, being lost is half the fun, I didn’t want to be so lost I was stranded to never finding my way back, but that SIM card only gave me the ability to access internet services to use some data so that I could find my way and I made a deal with myself to still limit my using of it and mainly use it for google maps and looking things up.
I came back to Trinidad for a month and told myself that I had made it an entire semester without a phone, just because I had that luxury while I was in Europe did not mean I needed it again in Trinidad, and honestly I didn’t. Yes there were days when I went without internet, and sure data would have been beneficial, especially when I wanted to do assignments, or days that I wanted to be able to talk to my parents. Sure when I was going out with my friends and we wanted to go in two separate ways, having a phone to contact each other to meet up again would have been beneficial, but I adapted. I was living in a developing country I was already adapting to living, I didn’t have a lot of things and I was learning to live with minimal.
So what made me really change my mind….
I’ve been a victim of catcalling since I arrived here, it seems to be a cultural thing where people catcall those who were different and that they don’t often see on the streets. I was the minority, someone that the male population deemed “attractive” and “beautiful.”
I was walking home one night, feet from my place, after a meeting it was getting dark, but it wasn’t late. A car drove past me and I payed no attention, it drove a circle and came back and the man driving it start to whistle and yell “hello beautiful” out of his window, I still payed no attention to him. He kept driving and turned back around again, this time he asked me if I knew where some place was, I shook my head and kept walking. Again he turned around and came behind me, for the third time, this time he asked me to get into his car so he could continue to talk to me because he thought I was really pretty. NO THANK YOU, but i didn’t acknowledge him, and I kept walking. This was the first time that that someone has been this aggressive towards wanting to talk to me on the streets.
There was nothing I could do in this moment had the situation gone any further than where it was and where it ended, my phone did not work, he was in a car and I was walking, I was in a vulnerable position and in this moment decided that as a female, needed to ensure I put myself in a safe situation, where how I would get out of this another time, so today after 6 months I gave in and I got a SIM card, but let me tell you… I will still rarely use it to get the most out of my experience.
In safe travels!