Traveling the old-fashioned way

Sunday, February 6, 2011; F05

For three days, the author went without her digital devices and traveled the old-fashioned way-sans Internet, GPS or social media, and actually talking to people face to face.

s At check-in, a clerk locked the author's BlackBerry, backup cellphone and laptop in a safe in the hotel office.

t Without the Internet to help her create an itinerary, the author relied on the travel guides and brochures in her hotel room.

t When she desperately had to make a call, she used a calling card and a pay phone, if she could find one. This one was inside the Art Institute of Chicago.

s Instead of buying show tickets online, the author walked over to Hot Tix, a discount theater-ticket store.

u At night, this window seat in the Tranquiltity Suite was a perfect perch for thinking instead of texting.

u To help out the Internet-deprived author, a hotel employee looked up a train schedule for her, but when he couldn't get it to print, he wrote it down on a piece of paper.

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