Modern life and better communication. Dinasaurs like myself remember having experiences in places far away from home without any expectations of communicating with the homebase regularly. The whole year that I spent in Honduras I talked to my mom about 6 times on the phone – but conversations via snail mail were long and frequent funnily enough. Living on an island and Greece and communicating with the family only a few times when the local grocer was open and kind enough to shout my name out if someone called. Going on Interrail and having adventures without anyone at home follow our route or adventures. These are just a few examples of life and travels without the expectation of being constantly available or at least updating regularly back home. I thought about this in the summer when my 20 year old brother spent a month or two backpacking around Europe and my dad worried about not hearing from him for a few days. I think about this often when I get slightly annoyed about not reaching someone because my own expecations have changed – I have grown accustomed to being connected.
It is of course still possible to go out and have an experience far removed from your home, family or friends but the strange thing is that the more we become used to being able to follow our loved ones through modern technology the more fearful we become when we lose that contact, even if only for a short time.
That is food for thought – food that NPR just decided to taste in a recent story called Texting, Skype Alter Peace Corp Experience. Very interesting for all prospective, current and former Peace Corp volunteers – and for that matter anyone who has ever tried to venture out into the world and experience life in another culture.