When I was 19, I left the US to study abroad in Cork, Ireland for six months. I didn’t have a laptop computer, or Internet access in my student apartment, so I walked about half of a mile to the student union to check email once every 1-2 days. There was no Facebook, so I had to rely on people sending me long winding messages about what was going on in their lives in order to feel connected. If I was lucky, I could catch someone in Instant Messenger, but with the time difference that was rare. When I wanted to call my family, I took a long distance calling card into a phone booth and placed and international call.
What a difference a decade makes.
As I sit in the living room of our newly rented apartment in Cusco, Peru, I am amazed at how completely accessible John and I are. I have WIFI at my fingertips, accessible from the MacBook Pro I’m carrying around with me. I still have my Colorado cell phone number, thanks to the porting services of Google Voice, and I can make and receive phone calls and text messages from my laptop. If I want, I can check up on friends through Facebook and see the latest photos of their kids/engagement rings/breakfast this morning. And of course I still have access to all of my email addresses.
In short, aside from running into me at the grocery store (which never happened in Denver anyway), anyone can reach me the same exact way they would while I was in the the US. They can even Skype me if they want to see my face. Technology is amazing.
Please feel free to reach out through any of these modes of communication. I know from experience that it’s nice to know what everyone at home is up to and hear a friendly voice. (Commenting on this blog is also a nice little way to say hello. Thank you to those who have done so already!)