Talking is always positive. That’s why I talk too much.
– Louis C. K.
Traveling is by far one of my most favourite things to do, I can’t even begin to describe the overwhelming feelings I get when I get to experience a new place, it’s smells, it’s sights and also it’s customs. For me, I grew up in a military family so I am used to not being around my family for long periods of time, I know that this isn’t the case for everyone though and that keeping in contact with parents, partners and friends is sometimes one of the most important things to do each day, so I thought I would write a post about the easiest ways to keep your loved ones informed of what your up to 😀
Thailand isn’t a backwards country, we do have the Internet. I do still get shocked by the looks of shock on some people’s faces when they realise that Thailand has WiFi and mobile Internet, you would think that some people think we all live in the jungle and spearfish for our food everyday???
People do spear fish but then they put the pictures of their catch up on Facebook and Instagram!
Finding somewhere to hook up to the internet in Thailand requires a 5 minute walk in any direction, being a newly developed country, Thailand is exploding with modern technology as its young people are desperate to become tech savvy.
Even tiny villages have access to the internet!
Keeping in contact with your family and friends back at home is something that is very simple to do and here are just a few ways to do it.
There are more blogs about cats than humans
One thing that I have noticed becoming more popular with the volunteers we have with us is blogging. Now I know a little bit about blogging, I don’t do it so much on a personal level like my volunteers do but I do it on a professional/travel level. I find that it is an amazing platform that not only let’s people who care about you see what you are up to, but also people from all over the world. I use WordPress as my primary blogging site but I was recently approached by a company called Glipho who have asked me to write for the travel section of their blogging network site; something that was both very surprising and humbling 🙂
Take a look at my newly created Glipho account here.
There are two other very famous and useful blogging sites which are, Blogger and also Tumblr, I myself have a Tumblr which you can by clicking here >>> Tumblr. Tumblr is more of a photo based blog site which is great to see an overview of what people are doing, whereas Blogger and WordPress are writing platforms where you write blogs about whatever you feel like for that moment in time; I want to write about rainbows sometimes but feel as though people probably wouldn’t be interested in rainbows and what they taste like.
Check out the Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook page!!
Facebook is the most famous social networking site and is obviously now a part of pretty much everyone on the planets lives. You get up, you check Facebook, you’re at work, you check Facebook, you’re in the bathroom, you check Facebook. Facebook is very much ingrained in people’s lives that it is very easy to update in seconds with pictures, videos and statuses about what you are doing. I have also found that Facebook is a great place to upload photos to. I keep hard copies of all my travel photos, but for photos of nights out and amusing things that happen through my day I just upload to Facebook then delete them from my camera or my phone. When I was a volunteer I loaded all of my photos up to Facebook as a form of cloud storage which gave me so much free space to continue to take more and more pictures of my travels.
Calling Cards / SIM Cards
Calling back to your home country is sometimes the number one thing volunteers want to organise when they get into Surin. SIM Cards are only 50B from any 7/11 and credit here in Thailand is incredibly cheap at only a few Baht a minute for calls both within Thailand and abroad. I always recommend people to get themselves a Thai SIM card even if they aren’t planning to make calls, because people who have a smart phone can still be charged for hooking up to the Internet by their home phone companies, whether that be Verizon, 3 or Vodaphone. Plus it is also MUCH, MUCH cheaper to call home countries from a Thai SIM than a home SIM; trust me you will be happy to return home without a massive phone bill waiting for you.
For me email is only used for business emails to companies and other members of staff, oh also to my Dad as well as he has absolutely no idea what Facebook is, how it works or even how it works. Emails are nearly as age old as letters these day but I think there is something quite nice about waiting for a few days and receiving a nice long email from my Dad about what him and his family have been up to.
If you have any questions about any volunteer projects you can always Skype us!
Skype is probably the single greatest way of keeping in live contact with people across the world. I have so many friends that without Skype I would never be able to see or talk to them, the free calls that Skype provide are normally fantastic quality but this obviously depends on your Internet connection, speed and strength. I would recommend Skype to everyone, whether they are travelling or not, it gives you free phone calls that you can use on a laptop or PC but also on tablets like iPads, as well as on smart phones. I can call my Dad or my friends abroad from my phone like a regular phone call but it doesn’t cost me anything; which is my favourite thing 🙂
As much as the messaging system on Facebook is great, actual text messaging is normally quicker and easier than doing the whole Facebook messenger thing. My favourite high speed instant messengers are Kik and What’s App, they can be used anywhere in the world and are instantaneous. You can send photos, videos, stickers and messages that are huge as well. In Thailand, and also across all of Asia, we also have an instant messenger called Line, Line is the same as Kik and What’s App but has a very definite Asian feel to it, I would suggest people to get Line if they are in Thailand or Asia for some time and want a way of communicating with friends they make locally, as people in Asia don’t really use Kik or What’s App as much as they use Line.
I had Snapchat about a year ago now I think and I just didn’t understand the appeal of only being able to send a picture once, that you can’t save, to people who can only view it for a couple of seconds. Apparently I know nothing though as Snapchat has exploded into a huge thing that has taken over the world, everyone from Brazil to Burma has Snapchat nowadays and even though I don’t see the big deal about it, it is apparently a great way to share something that you are experiencing in that moment with lots of people at once.
One of the many stupid faces I make for the folks on Snapchat 😀
You don’t have to keep in contact with people when you travel, for me, I like to have little to no Internet access when I travel; I think it distracts from everything else you are doing. How can you ever hope to enjoy a drive from Bangkok to Surin if all you are doing is checking Facebook the whole time. You miss so much by spending all your time with your head aimed to the ground staring at your phone. This is just me obviously and I have come to terms with being one of those odd people in life who really isn’t like anyone else, so if you need to keep in contact with your friends and family then all of the above methods are great to use, don’t think that because I didn’t mention carrier pigeon that you can’t use it though. I would love to use smoke signals more regularly but understand not many other people do 🙂
In order to keep in contact with me then check out my Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram pages, if you would rather come and hang out in person then take a look at the Starfish Website and the Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook page to choose your life changing volunteer project 😀
Build. Protect.Teach. Care. – The Starfish Motto