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How losing my phone in Cuba helped me reconnect with the world

When I decided to travel to Cuba last month, I was fully prepared for a week without the internet. But after losing my phone on the trip, I found out what it’s really like to be “off the grid.”

Cuba introduced public internet connections a little more than a year ago, and logging on still requires trekking to a fairly unreliable outdoor hot spot and buying an hour-long internet pass (ranging from $1 to $4 an hour depending on how good a deal you get). The couple of times I shelled out cash to connect, I used my precious, slow internet minutes to check in with family and friends on WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook FB, +0.05% and to Instagram some photos of my trip.

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