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Digital Nomads: Using Your Online Accounts When Abroad

Pairing travel and technology sometimes represents something of a contradiction. If your goal is to escape the endless ping of messages and emails to get away from it all – getting back to nature, so to speak – then part of the reason for traveling might be to escape technology. However, it is undeniable that certain aspects of technology can supplement and augment the experience: Wandering around a mega city like Tokyo, for example, is a little bit easier with Google Maps in your pocket.

Still, it is interesting to not how far we have come in terms of technology traveling with us. It’s not that long since the use of mobile phones in another country was expensively prohibitive, or that you would have to visit a bureau de change to get physical cash for expenditures. Today, most of our digital accounts are truly transnational. Spotify, for instance, will basically follow you everywhere you go, so you can listen to your favorite playlists on planes, trains, and automobiles in almost every part of the world.

Check regulations before you go

But sometimes it is not that simple. For example, one of the world’s favorite travel companions – Instagram – is banned in the world’s most populous country, China. There are always ways you can circumvent the rules of the Great Firewall if you are visiting that country, but it’s arguably not worth the risk of falling afoul of the authorities.

The bottom line is, then, that most of your online accounts can follow you abroad and be almost fully accessible. When it comes to something like Netflix, you can access your account, although there will be licensing restrictions on the content available. For instance, a specific movie might be available on your Netflix Canada account but not available to Netflix Australia subscribers. If you are Down Under, you will be able to access what the Aussies have.

Legal and regulatory restrictions will come into play, of course. If you are in Canada as a resident, then you can play online casino games at William Hill Canada. The William Hill brand is one of the biggest international casino brands and is licensed in Canada and many other countries around the world, including the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Colombia, and parts of the USA. But you would not be able to access your account in territories where gambling is not legal.

Countries have some surprising bans on specific products

Getting back to social media, it might surprise you to learn that certain countries have specific bans. TikTok is now considered the world’s most popular app, at least in terms of downloads in recent years. But the short video platform is banned in India. This comes after accusations from the Indian government that the app is unsafe, given it’s owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. There is gathering momentum behind a TikTok ban in the United States too. So, don’t be surprised if other countries block you from using the wildly popular app when abroad.

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As we mentioned, your online accounts and tools can be an aid to getting around a city. But, again, specific restrictions will come into play. Uber is now seen as the most ubiquitous taxi app, but it is banned in many countries as the business model does not satisfy certain labor laws. Several European countries, including Denmark, do not allow the app, so you will have to rely on local taxi services.

All of this only touches the surface of the myriad of rules and regulations of accessing your online account abroad. While technology has broadly made travel easier, it’s worth making preparations so that you do not wholly depend on anything. Have contingency plans for accessing travel tools that might not be available. And as for your social media accounts, well, you might just have to enjoy your trip without the endless status updates and doomscrolling.

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Zhu

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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