Something happens practically every time I return home from an overseas trip: My iPhone does not work exactly the same way it did before the trip.
The problems are varied, as are the solutions.
A few years ago, I recall that some WhatsApps contacts could message me while others could not. At that time I foolishly updated the WhatsApp app with my foreign SIM number while overseas. When I returned, I put my original number back, but some contacts in remained in limbo.
Now I try to make sure that I use my phone only to activate a foreign prepaid SIM and pop the SIM into a travel router as soon as I can. Foreign telcos often send profile updates to the phone to make sure it works with their system, but this can have unintended consequences.
After my most recent trip last week, I found that my phone did not forward Messages (Apple’s text messages and normal SMS) to my laptop, desktop, and iPad like before.
I found out that I had to toggle Messages to each device off in my phone settings and then reactivate them one by one. This meant getting activation codes from my other devices all over again.
I also discovered that Handoff did not work between my phone and laptop or desktop. This was unusual because my iPad, which travelled with me, did not suffer the same travel bug.
After a bit of investigating, I discovered that my Bluetooth connection did not automatically reactivate after Flight Mode on my phone while it did on my iPad.
People like to say that you learn a lot when you travel. This used to be true mainly because of the new experience, culture, food, language, etc. that travel brings. We should add to that lot lessons from troubleshooting.