Both J. and I have grown up living in the U.S. as well as in other countries. We know what it’s like to move away from friends and family. We know how disconnected you can feel from everyone. But our memories of that are from ages ago.
It’s a different story today. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to stay in touch. Yes, we’re far from home, but communication is almost instant, if not truly instant.
Thanks to Skype, we can call home easily – and friends back home can call us, just like dialling a regular New York number. Thanks to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, we can instant message with anyone in the world. Thanks to Facebook, I know what everyone’s up to. Twitter and Instagram help too. And then of course there is email, which feel dated now but it a lot faster than a letter.
We’re staying in touch with pop culture as well. Via VPN (we use a company called Private Internet Access) and Smart DNS (learn more about this), we can watch whatever shows we want as the services ensure Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV don’t get blocked by geolocation. Spotify doesn’t have any geolocation blocking in Kenya, so we don’t even need a work around for music.
In some ways it feels as though we never left home. That’s good. And, it’s bad.
I worry that we’re not integrating enough. I don’t want to live in bubble nor do I want to be a solitary outpost, relying only on my window of America. I think we need to get out a bit more and experience actual life more.
Granted, I’m being hard on myself. We’ve been here barely three months. Much of our time has, rightfully, been spent setting things up. That takes time and laying the foundational links back home is a big part of set up.
But, hopefully, soon we will be able to start the shift into real life and be less reliant on virtual life.