Earlier this summer I had to take care of some personal business in Europe, and I felt distinctly out of place. There wasn’t any language barrier, and I wasn’t homesick. It’s just that I was the only adult walking around without a cellular phone.

I briefly thought about getting a compatible phone as I packed, but nixed the idea. It was a short trip and, I thought foolishly, I’m not going to be setting up lots of appointments and meetings. Cellular providers and corporate travel agents rent phones that work on the continent, but they often come with high per diem rates and astronomical per-call or minute charges. Besides, I thought, I’m not a power user; you won’t find me chatting away as I walk in Manhattan or drive down I-95.