There are lots of different ways to keep in touch with your friends and family back at home during the internet age. This article lists some of our favourite tools that help keep us in the loop over long time periods away.
Our favourite way to communicate with someone close is through Skype or FaceTime (Apple products). With this free service you can see each others faces, what they are wearing and whether they look well – it is a bit more personal an a phone call. We organise 'Skype dates' via email and then meet each other online at the specified time. If you travel with a smartphone, tablet or laptop, the chances are that all you need is an internet connection and you'll be able to see your friend or family member wherever they are. Most internet cafes are also set up with a webcam and speaker to Skype call.
We've been able to call around the world for many decades, but it is cheaper and easier now than it has ever been. If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or access to an internet cafe, you are able to call any phone in the world with Skype. The best thing is that you don't need to organise 'dates' and the cost is very, very affordable (although mobile calls can be expensive). A great way to suprise someone, of catch up with older folk who may not be connected to the internet.
Good ol' fashioned email has been around longer than any of the other internet services but provides a very personal level of communication between those at home and with you while you travel. This is Kat's favourite way to communicate – she has 10 or more friends on the go, and boasts regularly about how many words she has written to each of them!
If you are away for a long time, start a Facebook page! Note: Facebook pages are different to personal profiles. You will be able to post your thoughts, pictures, videos or links to anything on the internet and this information will be delivered directly to your family/friends Facebook feed. Your family/friends do not need to use Facebook to see this information – pages are available to anyone if they have the link. Facebook is our favourite way to communicate with the masses, just a picture a day of our life is all we need to keep everyone in the loop!
Similar to Facebook, but more text heavy, Twitter is another social media alternative to communicate publically.
A photo based social media platform, we have had friends who don't have a website, but instead run a photojournal of their time on the road for everyone at home. 9millionrevolutions is a great example of using Tumblr well.
If you want to keep a public diary of the places you travel, your thoughts, your photos and your ideas, blogging is a great way to display all of this information in one. You are not limited by length or size – you can write a book or photo essay if you like. Free blogs which you can edit include Blogger and WordPress.
Bike Touring Website Blogs
You are able to write your bike travel musings onto websites such as Crazyguyonabike and Biketravellers which are large online communities of cycling weblogs. We find Crazyguyonabike easier and quicker to start an online blog than Blogger/Wordpress/Biketravellers because there is no design aspect to it. Hosting your blog on these websites will most likely get read by more people and will also allow your information to contribute to a wider cycle traveller community.
If you're a bit more tech savvy, you can start your own website about your trip, like us! This information will be incorportated well into Google's search engine, so you can expect a bit more of a public following if you go down this route. In our opinion, websites are the best way to display a wide variety of information on a particular topic – bicycle touring for example.
Do you know/use any more call services, weblogs or platforms to communicate with home?