Day 9 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
Gone are the days of expensive international calls and old news received through general delivery in one or another city in the world. While I still enjoy sending the odd postcard to family and friends, I am happy that hand writing multiple letters for hours on end are a thing of the past! When backpacking in the nineties, these “nuisances” (I mean romantic ways of correspondence) were a part of the present.
The introduction of the internet has made communication, and in fact a big part of our lives, much easier. I can only imagine how my parents were worrying, when they didn’t hear from their daughter for weeks at a time, until she decided to give them a call from a phone booth in some place exotic, at the other end of the world. While on our sailboat, Mark and I often reminisced how easy it was to shoot our families an update, thanks to the internet. We use this magical invention to send emails, make Skype calls, check the weather, post blogs, find jobs, submit articles and photos, research projects, answer our questions, search the web, and run our business. It is also indispensable for my writing “career”.
For Mark and me, the internet plays an even more important role than “just” providing easier communications and a wealth of information. It allowed us to be creative and resourceful, and start our own (unplanned) business. Like many cruisers in 2009, we were getting tired of having to take our computers to shore and spend sweaty hours finding an adequate bar, restaurant or internet café with WiFi to do what we wanted/needed to do. Once we found a place that might work, the internet signal would be weak or unreliable, or there was a power outage and we’d have to start all over again. We would also have to buy a drink/meal or pay for the internet usage. On the way back to our boat, it might rain or be so windy that the salty chop and bumpy rides threatened our computers. We needed a better solution…
Imagine being able to get online from the comfort of your own boat! (This is how we initially advertised our invention.) There were a few long range WiFi systems on the market in the spring of 2009, when we were checking our options from St. Martin in the Caribbean. But, they were all too expensive or of inferior quality to survive the salty environment. What were we to do? That’s right, build our own device. Mark’s software engineer skills, research genius and perfectionism came in handy to create the best long distance WiFi product available. We managed to get internet on board and we were happy. Our friends and fellow cruisers were not. They wanted what we had. Therefore… The Wirie was born!
Many years, improvements, options and sold units later, Mark and I need the internet more than ever, and we are proud to provide it to numerous happy customers in the boating and RV world with our products as well!
How important is the internet to you? What do you use it for? Are you someone who is always checking his/her phone for the latest updates and messages? Do you mostly use WiFi or 3G/4G service to get online? Do you remember a world without the internet?
(As the alphabet is progressing in the A-Z Blogging Challenge, so are my blogs for the “Thoughts about Being a Nomad” series. Tomorrow, I will write about “J is for Joy”!)