Using technology to stay connected

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So I’m writing this post nearly 4000 miles away from a little city in Spain called Granada. These days, one doesn’t have to be at home to stay close to the events of the week or even to work. With modern technology, specifically social networks, I am able to not only sufficiently complete my work remotely abroad from Spain, but I am able to stay up to date with my social circle and inform my family of my doings and whereabouts. Here are some of the tools I use and how I use them while traveling and working abroad…

Twitter: Without a doubt my favorite and most efficient tool. In the past, I kept a log of my travels via a blog, but it turned into a narrative of cathedrals and bars. I think the best parts of traveling are the little things you encounter, the things you don’t really remember to put in your blog. By connecting Twitter to my mobile phone, I can let my family and friends live my travels as they happen in real time simply by tweeting my experiences for the entire world to see. I did however run into a bit of trouble though when I promised my family I would tweet that I was safe as soon as I was done running with the bulls. My phone ran out of euros and I wasn’t able to let anyone know I was safe, chaos ensued and my parents and girlfriend started calling hospitals in Pamplona and everyone thought I had died. Have no fear I’m still here and am NOT writing this post from 6 feet under.

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Skype: In my opinion, this is the best video chat application on the market. Not only can you chat for free Skype to Skype, but for mere fractions of a penny I can call anyone in the world. Skype has given me the ability to stay close with my family and friends without costing me a dime. As a messaging utility, Skype is fast, robust, and lightweight. Skype also allows me to have the ability to SMS anyone in the world for some outrageously cheap rates. Another amazing snippet about Skype, they have opened their communication protocol for others to use. In laymen’s terms, other software engineers can integrate Skype’s VOIP technology to offer even more incredible features in the future.

Wikitravel: This is without a doubt my favorite website for traveling. Everyone loves Wikipedia, but Wikitravel takes it a step further and specializes the information strictly for traveling. Don’t k

now where to go for the weekend? Simply hop on Wikitravel and start surfing until you find that hidden little gem nestled deep in the woods or on a beach miles from civilization.

Facebook: This is an obvious one. One of the depressing parts of traveling is not knowing what is going on at home. Facebook’s mini-feed does an incredible job of making me feel like I am still sitting on my couch in East Lansing. Through traveling, I try and friend nearly everyone I meet. I have established my network around the world which I will be able to rely upon in the future. Too often people limit themselves to a close social network, my intention is to establish small networks all over the world and leverage them all as one. The possibilities are simply endless, upon my return next year I will have friends in just about every country imaginable.

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