Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Living Abroad Is a Lot Easier Now

Ten years ago, I moved to Sweden with my husband, and two oldest boys. We were students and terribly poor. We brought 8 suitcases filled with most our possessions. I left my books, cookware, and keepsakes in plastic tubs in my parent's garage. We scraped enough money together to buy a computer when we got to Sweden. I was able to get a little mail, occasional letters from friends and family. I was able to call my parents on the phone occasionally. And I had email. I wrote long letters to my friends and family about our adventures and experiences.

In 2005, we bought a digital camera. Suddenly, I could send pictures and videos to my family. It was awesome.

I had access to a few English books from the library. Sometimes, I could get music that I liked on the internet.
Oh my goodness, how times have changed. Do you even realize how much technology has changed in 10 years???????? And can you even imagine how much easier this technology makes life for ex-pats?

Now, in Riyadh, I can use my ipod to call my family through facetime. I can skype friends. I can use the magic jack to make calls to the U.S., free of charge.

Email is still nice, but FB is even faster and more immediate. Heck, I even get FB on my ipod. I can listen to the radio, news, podcasts through the internet whenever I want. It's pretty much awesome.

But we haven't even covered the best invention EVER. The Kindle. Goodness gracious. Do you fully grasp the power of having an entire library in the palm of your hand???????????????? Do you understand what it means to be able to get virtually any book you ever wanted wirelessly, at the touch of a button, in a foreign country that has all kinds of restrictions? Oh, and did I mention that I am obsessive reader and that without books, I shrivel up and die mentally?

Leaving my books wasn't so hard this time.

So thank you technology. I really appreciate you!


  1. No kidding! The first time I lived overseas there was no Internet, not even in the US. I sent a million aerogrammes. Then when we lived in Kyrgyzstan the first time, I had really slow dialup and I was constantly searching for books in English. Life is so much better now with ebooks and high speed Internet.

  2. I'll tell you, I'm the same way with books. Now if only I could find people who want to talk intelligently about what they're reading instead of gabbing about the latest ward gossip, life would be so much richer.

    And technology is pretty amazing.