I remember the first time I flew to Hong Kong to fulfill a modeling contract–it was 2004 and I had never lived on my own nor have I ever worked abroad prior to this. I was scared out of my mind, but I was also excited and happy. I could not wait to find out what this new place had in store for me and at the same time I was so fearful I would get lost and fail miserably in life (haha, so OA right). It was really about conquering my fear of the unknown. And although I had read a guidebook to Hong Kong a few weeks before my departure, nothing would’ve prepared me for this once in a lifetime adventure.
The first thing I did when I got there was to visit my modeling agency, Starzpeople. The memory is still so vivid in my mind–I was nervous, eager to please, and just so insecure that I was certain they were going to send me home after having one look at me. That didn’t happen, of course. I ended up working with them for seven more years, and I am still in contact with the owner, Mee Yian and some of her bookers. One thing I remember so well from that day though was when they handed me a map of Hong Kong and a sim card that I could only use for emergencies. Like I only had a very limited number of texts and calls in that sim card so it should be used just for work. I treated those two things: the map and the simcard (which I put inside my phone of course) like it was my entire world. Like, I needed them to survive and find my way around the city, or else I would wither away and die. Well, not really, but I would likely get lost and miss my castings and jobs, which would be very bad.
Looking back, I cant help but think how incredibly analog (I don’t want to say, primitive, but it surely feels that way) it was back then, comparing it to the technology we have right now. I mean, there’s no longer a need to text or call when everything can be done via chat and video call thru Viber, What’s App or FaceTime. There is now social media, so you can share photos instantaneously, even videos at at touch of the screen. I remember how horrible it was that I had to buy expensive call cards to be able to get in touch with Carlos (who was then my boyfriend), and how we couldn’t even see each other–we just listened to each other’s voices, which was so heart wrenching. At times when I was so homesick, all I could do was use up my call card (I used one every three days) and after 20 minutes, the call would be cut. It was the worst feeling in the world, as it made me feel isolated and really, I just wanted to go home. Of course, at the same time I wanted to do well, so my driving force was to get as many projects as I could so I could go home successful (with a big bank account). I find it so amazing how I felt this way once upon a time, and now it is impossible to feel that way.
So, okay, let me drive to my point (I know I have one haha). I wanted to share with you my ultimate travel hack so you wont have to get lost, miss your loved ones, skip posting on social media, miss out on work emails and messages, and many more. Carlos and I have been using this for a few years now, usually by finding a rental booth at the airport. But after a few mishaps, and because it is now finally here in Metro Manila, we’ve switched to BIG SKY NATION, the #1 Travel Solutions Provider in the Philippines.
Now, what exactly does Big Sky Nation provide? Well, in a nutshell, it offers pocket Wi-Fi rental that allows you 4G technology (for faster connection, of course) with worldwide coverage. It is the best thing in the world, especially when you’re traveling. As you are always connected, and really, the world is at your fingertips.
Like, when we travelled to Japan for the first time, we initially got lost because of the confusing (and undecipherable) subway system. I mean, it is really well-made, but we couldn’t understand Japanese so we were always lost. So for our next trip, we got a pocket Wi-Fi unit from Big Sky Nation and OMG, it was so easy to go from one stop to the other. We just used Google Maps, and it was able to tell us exactly which train to go on and yes, we never got lost again!
Ever since that time, we would always have a pocket Wi-Fi unit with us. From our first Europe trip as a family (Amsterdam, Florence, Barcelona and Paris) to the other trip we took with my parents (Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Lisbon and Madrid)–we always had this with us and we ended up eating in the best and most rated restaurants, easily finding historical landmarks and parks, and discovering hidden gems we wouldn’t have been able to find if we didn’t have Internet access readily available. Oh, and up to 5 mobile phones can tap in, so the whole fam bam can check their emails, post on social media and do research about the city ALL AT THE SAME TIME. You really cant go wrong.
The photos you are seeing now are from my recent trip to Vietnam, and of course, I was not without my travel essential: my handy Skyroam 4GMate. So this is one of the pocket Wi-Fi units that Big Sky Nation provides–Skyroam 4GMate is a virtual SIM enable Wi-Fi Hotspot that you can use in over 100 countries. What I love about this is: it’s already 4G technology, which allows faster connection where available; longer battery life (about 5000 mah), capable of 8-16 hours depending on the usage; and worldwide coverage.
Here’s the best part: you can actually get a discount whenever you book/rent a pocket Wi-Fi unit from Big Sky Nation. All you have to do is type in: KELLYTRAVELS on the promo code before paying for the unit on the site and you get a 10% discount! This is pretty good–actually, any kind of discounts or deals are great in my book, and I wouldn’t miss this opportunity. The great thing is you can use it every time you book, so its not just a one time thing!
To give you an idea, here is the 4G pricing of Big Sky Nation per day:
Php 390 – Japan, Taiwan, Korea
Php 450 – Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Php 490 – USA and Europe
Php 550 – Rest of the World
I swear, the prices are unbeatable!!! You cant save this much money when you buy a local sim card (as you will need to keep reloading it), or when you turn on your intentional roaming (hello, you will get the shock of your life after).
Book your Travel Hotspot with Big Sky Nation through www.bigskynation.com using my promo code: KELLYTRAVELS, and tag your IG photos on #TravelWithBigSky and #Skyroaming so I can see them! And be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW Big Sky Nation in Facebook and Instagram to stay tuned to exciting updates and promos.