July has been something of a month for milestones.
It was the month in which Milo, our intrepid black lab and travelling companion from the UK to here, turned nine. Well on the way to becoming an old man, he has grown a chin full of white whiskers and an increasing paunch to boot. He has excelled in the Aussie environment, even after the passing of old man Murph, and I am ever happy that he came with us to this far-flung land.
It was the month which saw my wife and I celebrate eleven years since our first date. Set in my hometown of Basingstoke, England, the date included a ‘no expense spared’ meal of lamb shanks straight out of the freezer bag followed by a lively pub quiz – and all hosted at my ‘local’. Those were extravagant days.
It was also the month in which I reached a personal expat milestone. I have now lived overseas for more than eight years. If I’m honest, the time has flown and, in no small part, due to the number of moves we’ve made at different stages in the adventure. But it is a significant milestone and one which has been hard won and high on the emotional stakes.
|Photo credit: Ross Haddow / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Much has changed since I left the UK in 2003 but one of the things that has transformed my expat life over this period has been the technological advance in communications, allowing me vastly improved contact with loved ones back in the UK and around the globe.
Social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter, have also altered the technological landscape for us expats. Friends and family at home are able to keep up-to-date with my whereabouts and activities through regular tweets and the frequent posting of pictures online. The reverse is also true and I feel more connected with my peers than eight years previously when occasional emailing or letter writing was the norm.
These advances have also given me a new found respect and admiration for those expat pioneers of a time long past who left their homelands not knowing when, or how, they would communicate again with family and friends.
While we may complain about poor Internet speed or whine about ropey Skype connectivity, we’ll never have to deal with the lengthy Kangaroo Route facing 1950s immigrants to Australia or uncertain ship crossings endured by post-WWII war brides to Canada. And, for that alone, I am grateful.
Has technology improved your life abroad? Do you remember when the telephone and letter writing was the only way to communicate with loved ones?
Are you aware of new technologies on the horizon that may further improve an expat’s deal?