How To Keep Connected While Half A World Away
As a general rule, people can come up with any manner of excuses to keep themselves firmly planted in the life they know and have grown accustomed to, in spite of how badly they may wish to make a change or embark upon a new adventure. Some of these excuses are based in reality (Such as: it’s too expensive, or I’ll miss my nephew’s graduation.) while others are based on insecurity (What if I fail?). And still others are a mixture of the two. (It’s too expensive, and if miss my nephew’s graduation, then everyone in the family will think I’m a louse.) The truth is, these excuses, however real or insecure they’re based, have solutions which can be beneficial to both yourself and your loved ones.
Really it all boils down to a fear of the unknown and a desire to not rock the boat by making drastic changes. Oftentimes we’ll stick in an uncomfortable situation just to make life easier on others; and usually those “others” are friends and family. I’m here to tell you that you deserve good things too! I tend to agree with American actor Melvyn Douglas, who said, “Don’t make excuses and don’t talk about it. Do it.” If you want to travel the world, see new and interesting things, and then share the experience with friends and family, more power to you! The internet opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to staying connected with friends and family, while enjoying all the freedoms that globetrotting has to offer.
Remember, you’re not the only one with insecurities. If you’ve been discussing your travel plans with your family and they don’t seem overly supportive, then it probably has very little to do with their faith in your abilities, and more to do with how much they love and care about you. I struggled with this very subject myself when I decided to try my hand at earning a living on the internet while seeing the world. My mother, who is normally my loudest cheerleader, was firmly against my leaving; so much so that I nearly canceled all of my non-refundable reservations. Thankfully, we talked it out and in doing so I learned that she was fearful of what I would encounter in the “strange” places listed on my itinerary.
The bottom line? She really cares about my safety, and I’m guessing that your loved ones probably feel the same way about you. Here are a few of the ways that you can ease the worries of your friends, family, even coworkers, while traveling abroad.
Skip the Cellphone
Roaming charges can be ridiculous, and renting a local phone can be equally expensive for the folks back home trying to stay in touch. Emails and instant messages are great, but sometimes you just need some face time, or at least to hear a familiar voice. Instead make your calls through Skype and Google Voice if possible. You can even direct your Google Voice to your Skype number to receive voicemail, making it that much easier to respond in a timely fashion without breaking the bank.
Connect to the Web at Internet Cafes
Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, the local library, many hotels; the list of places to find a WiFi grows daily, especially if your travel plans don’t involve leaving the continent of North America.
Keep Your Laptop In Good Working Order
Make sure you’ve got the proper tools and technology to keep yourself connected no matter where you are in the world. Power adapters, surge protectors, and firewalls will keep your data safe, thereby allowing you to keep in touch. And in case of lost or stolen electronics, computer crashes, or any other kind of technological mishap, consider keeping your important information backed up on a remote source like Carbonite, and storing all of your passwords on a single online app. This will go a long way in recovering your data should you have to swap to a new machine mid-trip.
Invite Family For Visits
Most tourist visas limit the duration to that of three months, if you know you’re going to be in Italy for your parents’ anniversary, invite them to join you so that they can enjoy a visit with you as well as a vacation to celebrate their milestone event. This allows them to experience a bit of your lifestyle, confirm that you’re alive and well, and maybe even convert to a free-wheeling nomad life of their own!
Whether you plan on traveling for two weeks, or two years, keeping in touch with your loved ones is important. I experienced plenty of trepidation before I took the plunge, which is why I invested so much time into researching other people’s experiences before setting out on my own adventure. In addition to finding out useful information about iPad security locks, I also found inspiration in couples like Carrie and Jonathan Kraft (a couple who brings their business on the road) because they could relate to the concerns and reservations expressed by family. Once I realized that much of my mother’s worries stemmed from insecurities we were able to reach a place of understanding, and she now supports me unconditionally.
Jason Munroe is a freelance author and internet research who has done his fair share of traveling. Whenever he’s away from home he uses his iPad and accessories to keep in touch with family and friends back home. He recently wrote a series of reviews about some of his favorite accessories, like the best iPad stands from www.locksondemand.com to use with the tablet. When Jason isn’t working or traveling, he prefers getting back to nature and takes part in popular activities like hiking and camping with his fellow outdoor enthusiast friends.