Twalk With Me - Walking and Talking 6000 miles with just an iPhone and a guitar

Kill bill, or, is there anyone who can help me get my message across?

7 December 2010kill-bill-or-is-there-anyone-who-can-help-me-get-my-message-acrossIt's frustrating really, to find that with internet, the world is indeed without frontiers, but that the providers of mobile telephone subscriptions don't operate accordingly. Within the European Union people are free to live and work wherever they want, but as soon as you cross the border from one country to another you pay ridiculously high fees. You can't get more international then the big providers. Companies like T-Mobile and Vodafone are present in almost every country in Europe, but their services are national. Travelers are the milk cows of their business, and no exceptions can be made for people who are constantly abroad.  

In my case it is even worse. Before I ever came up with the idea of twalking through Europe, I changed my subscription from Vodafone to T-Mobile, because I wanted an iPhone. There are now some serious competitors that I wouldn't mind trying out instead - although I am still happy with my iPhone - but at that time I wanted that phone so badly that I decided on a two year contract. My subscription will run for at least another year, but the minutes and SMS bundle are only valid in the Netherlands. This means I pay 40 Euro's a month for something I cannot use, and I pay the when-you-are-on-holiday-we-want-a-piece-of-the-action-fee for every minute and kb I do use. Hello? T-Mobile? Can we work something out? I am not national, not international, but extranational. I am never in my country... No one home. My first bill amounted to 260 Euro's.

Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to write articles and seek relevant magazines to get them published so I can earn some money. I am walking as fast as I can to stay ahead of winter - I already failed miserably at staying ahead of the autumn showers! In the evening most of my time goes into getting to know my hosts. A gratifying activity to say the least, but time consuming nonetheless. This means I am highly dependent on the donations of people who sympathize with my cause and others who appreciate my posts or my pictures. But I don't even have the time to thank them properly with an email or some other message. All this could change if I were to find someone or some company that could help me solve my connection problems during the day.
To cut a long story short, I am badly in need of a cheaper solution or a company that can support me and kill my bills. Are you such a company, do you work for one, or do you know someone that does, it would mean a lot to me if you could help me out with this. On my end I can insure a lot of attention in the press while I'm on my way. As I am about to enter Spain I have already had articles and interviews covering my project in major newspapers in the Netherlands, Germany and France. I've been on Dutch and German radio and television channel ARTE (broadcasting in all of Europe) wants to film me for three days when I'm nearing Santiago de Compostela. On the internet there is a long list of bloggers who have written about me and the number of followers I have grows larger every day. I'm sure that there are many meaningful partnerships to think of, but I simply don't have the time right now to actively seek them out. For this I ask your help.
Who will kill my bill?
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Comments (12)

Posted by renske - woensdag 8 december 2010, 11:04
Heb ja al VOIP Programma's geprobeerd? Ik gebruik Webcall
(www.webcalldirect.com). 300 minuten per week gratis bellen naar vaste nummers, naar mobiel bellen kost ca 0,08 cent/min.
Je moet wel een credit sorten (doe ik per pre-paid creditcard) voor het geval je over de 300 min. komt, maar ook dan betaal je haast niks.Hoop dat je er wat aan hebt.
Mocht je over de italiaans Alpen komen ben je bij ons welkom, maar denk dat het behoorlijk "om" voor je is.
Groeten van renske in Mollia (VC) Italie
Posted by Koos Lardee - donderdag 9 december 2010, 11:23
Je kan ook het ook via Skype proberen, als je dat nog niet doet. http://www.skype.com/intl/en/get-skype/on-your-mobile/download/iphone-for-skype/ Verder een goeie reis en doet voorzichtig, groeten uit Leiden.
Posted by Wijnand - donderdag 9 december 2010, 11:27
Hi Renske en Koos,

Het bellen is het probleem niet. Ik maak inderdaad gebruik van Skype, Viber etc. Het gaat om het internetverbruik. Daar is helaas niet zo'n pasklare oplossing voor te vinden. Als het goed is krijg ik vandaag bericht van T-Mobile. Ben benieuwd of en wat zij te bieden hebben...

Wel bedankt voor het meedenken!
Posted by Robert-Jan - donderdag 9 december 2010, 11:32
Skype and VOIP apps for the iPhone are not very usefull in this case, as they still consume a lot of DATA (kilobytes, megabytes) and, abroad, your are billed by the telecom provider for each byte you use.
Posted by Eveline Megchelse - donderdag 9 december 2010, 15:11
Sorry Wijnand, can't help you with connections. But how about sending a letter to Ms. Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the 'Digital Agenda Telecoms' (if you can find the time). You might be able to "help" the rest of traveling Europe! :-)

One of her latest speeches: Towards a Single Market for mobile roaming:


Posted by tom - donderdag 9 december 2010, 16:46
Dear Mr Boon,

I don't like being a wise ass, and as such I won't say I told you so.
Ever since you first mentioned this endevour I've been trying to convince you of this problem. To no avail, as we can distill from your story.

It's a big problem.
The only quick fix for this problem is a sponsor!
Sending Ms Kroes a letter, as suggested above, is timeconsuming and even with all the efforts Ms Kroes can put in this huge problem, the coggs of the European beaurocracy are big and heavy. By the time they start turning you will probably be at the end of your trip.

T-mobile and Vodafone are your best bet!

goodluck my friend!

Posted by Wijnand - donderdag 9 december 2010, 20:24
Thanks Eef!

And Tom, ever since I first told you Ialso said I knew about the problem, but I did not have time to fix it at that time. I still don't, but I'm trying. So if not wise, what remains? Exactly ;)
Posted by tom - donderdag 9 december 2010, 21:52

saw you were in Hossegor,

Have you been to Dick's Sand Bar?
It's on the boulevard, owned and run by some aussies. If it's still there, you can probalby get free internet and maybe a place to crash...........

you never know!?

good luck!
we'll keep on following you!

Posted by Roland Tappeiner - donderdag 9 december 2010, 22:09
Hello Wijnand,
as soon as you reach Roncesvalle you could use Internet at the Albergue (Hostels for pilgrims). I have done the camino 3 years ago and was able to write every day my blog for just 1 Euro per day.
This are internet machines which work with coins. As long as you have a 1 Euro coin, it is no problem.
I guess you have to pay the monthly bill to T-Mobile, the 40 Euros a month, but not a single cent more, just switch of the iphone until you are back to the Netherlands and use the public Internetpoints on your way.
Buen camino,
Posted by Wijnand - donderdag 9 december 2010, 22:47
Hi Tom,

Haven't been to Dick's. Tomorrow on my way to Anglet. Les Landes almost behind me!


Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately, the problem is not internet in the evening. I have that often at my hosts (I don't sleep in albergues!), but there I don't have time. In other words, that is not the solution I'm afraid. I need internet during the day, on my phone..
Posted by Alokla - zondag 12 december 2010, 06:47
Hi there,

why don't you try flattr,


Just add a flattr button to your blog.

good luck
Posted by fred adam - woensdag 22 december 2010, 18:10
Hello, in spain you can get a prepaid YOIGO sim for 5€ with a good data plan. No need to make a 1 year contract (you will pay no more than 1€ per day maxi and you can use 100 megabites trafic per day.)

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