Some people dream of traveling the world on a budget and staying in touch as digital nomads. Married couple Sam and Toccara Best have made that dream a reality.
Both have been producing a travel blog from far-flung locales called Forget Someday for more than a year mainly by using only their cell phones with no monthly carrier contract. They rely on free Wi-Fi with occasional assistance from Google Voice and Google Hangouts on Sam's Android phone, a BLU Life One X unlocked, which he bought for about $150, (Amazon price) .
Their blog is stocked full with photos and videos, many shot and edited using iMovie on Toccara's more expensive iPhone 5S. (Off-contract, the iPhone 5S originally started at more than $600, (Amazon price).
They also rely on some relatively high-end camera gear, including a Go Pro video camera (Amazon price). Recently, they took time-lapse shots with the Go Pro mounted on a tripod from the bow of a Viking River Cruise boat on segments of the scenic Douro River in Portugal, their latest destination.
They carry all their gear and clothes in backpacks and smaller carry-on bags, jetting, cruising and hiking their way around the globe. In the past year, they've visited Vietnam, Eastern Europe and Hawaii among other destinations. Their bucket list includes one of their next conquests: to see a polar bear in the wild, probably near the Artic.
Sam Best uses this unlocked BLU Life One X Android phone in his travels.
Sam picked his smartphone, made by Miami-based BLU, because it was inexpensive and got good ratings. He previously had used an iPhone and doesn't regret making the change.
"It takes a while to charge, but with my normal conservative use, I only need to charge it every other night," he said. "The speaker is mostly crap. I think the camera is great if you can get close to your subject and it has a wide lens, which I love."
Their decision to eliminate a monthly wireless service charge might sound risky to business travelers or people trying to constantly post to the web, but it has worked well for them.
"We don't have a monthly service," Sam said. "We add $10 to our Google Voice account as needed for calls outside the U.S. After a year on the road, we still haven't had to recharge, as most calls to other countries range from 2 cents to 15 cents a minute. Google Hangouts allows us to make and receive calls and texts while on Wi-Fi. Google provides a free phone number, or you can pay a small fee and port your old number."
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