We absolutely love our life and the places we go, but even in the furthest of places staying in touch while on the road is one of our top priorities.
We have seen armadillos, whales, gators, many different species of birds and trees, and expansive living things. We have met hikers, bikers, teachers, brewers, fellow RV’ers and entrepreneurs. We have visited Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, DC, New York, the Carolinas, the Virginias, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
We have experienced new things, old things, a-ha moments, arguments, getting lost, getting found, repair needs, redecorating, low bridges and well… I simply cannot list all of what we have experienced. We have tasted countless craft beers from all over the US, fresh lobster, shrimp, and seafood, along with many delectable pizzas, burgers, fries, ice-cream, and anything you can drool over.
We have hiked, biked, and driven thousands of miles.
But the one thing we haven’t done is forgotten about you…our family and friends. Every step of our journey is with each and everyone of you close to our hearts. Thanks to the strange little rectangle in each of our pockets, yes, we have left, but really, we have never left.
So, while we are not always in on the conversations from home, our conversations almost always revolve around the people we love, the ones who have always supported us from the beginning.
Because of this, staying in touch while traveling, (full time, part time, living in an RV, or out of a backpack, or however) is important and a necessary part of life on the road. We couldn’t do any of this without you.
Here are a few easy ways to stay in touch with the people you love while traveling.
Yes, smartphones is a broad category, but almost every way of communicating today is done via a smartphone: texting, social media, FaceTime, Skype, email, a variety of apps, and don’t forget about that good old fashioned phone call. Every single one of these is so readily accessible to most people thanks to these silly little pocket computers.
Let’s look at each of these communication apps in more detail.
This, at least for me, is probably the most common form of communication, but not always the best. I text my kids back after they have started texting me, and do I hear from them right away? Nope! Maybe I will get another text back the next day, but generally I have to text them again with the same question. Regardless, our kids see our words and always get little reminders that we are their beautiful loving parents. So much so that our son and copyeditor, Owen chose to leave that sentence in.
And if that wasn’t your goal, I can write about ways to communicate, but I can’t get your kids to get back to you. Good luck!
I decided to lump Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all that social media stuff together. These are great ways to share your story with a lot of people at one time. However, if anyone knows the algorithm to these apps, it is definitely not us, so half the people whom you want to share your story with will never see it. At that point, you might as well check out the other sections of this article. I talk too much for Twitter. Instagram works great for showing off a photo and staying connected with people you really don’t need (or maybe want) to talk to. Facebook is great because it offers a variety of communication from personal messaging to face to face calls, to generic posts, to specific posts, to inviting everyone you know to a party or even an online event. The problem with Facebook is that others need to be on it, too, or you’re just talking to strangers. Maybe that’s better?!
I digress, while we aren’t saying to never use Social Media in lieu of other apps, we are saying to remember to communicate with intention. Wether you want to reach a few hundred strangers to invite them to an event, or talk to your single grandmother that only knows how to communicate via Facebook messenger, there is a perfect place for it.
FaceTime and Google Hangouts
FaceTime for iPhone users and Google Hangouts for Android users offer a real time face to face connection. You may want to get dressed before making this call; your relatives really don’t want to see you naked no matter how many crunches you did this morning. But that’s the great thing about these communication variants. You get to see the expressions on the faces of people you miss, and you get to do it at your convenience. We’ve spent hours on FaceTime with friends. Each of us with a drink in hand, sitting around a fire chatting just like we were right next to each other smelling what each of us cooked for dinner that night.
Skype has come a long way from just being used to make a video call. It is an inexpensive and often times free communication app, used to make voice and video calls. You can also screen share, share photos, record calls, and attend virtual real-time field trips. While we don’t use this often, I am looking into using it more. One of the drawbacks with FaceTime is the small screen, and with Skype, you can go full screen. That way you can see the zits on your sister’s face and give her grief about it. You can’t do that with just a phone call.
Ah, the email. Antiquated? Yes, but still in use, and depending on the person, is still a good way to communicate. The best thing about emailing someone is that you can do it at your convenience, day or night, clothes or no clothes, and you don’t need to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. The obvious con is the intended recipient doesn’t have to email you back, or maybe they do really want to email you back, but they get so many junk emails, that yours was accidentally deleted along with those. If you are using email for friends and family, just know who responds well to that and who doesn’t(it’s always about intention). Or, Better yet, suck it up, and just call them!
What are those? Do I have a phone? Our Smartphones are used for everything in our daily lives, except probably a phone. It is a phone. One of the simplest ways to stay in touch with someone is still the phone. You don’t even have to download those fancy apps we mentioned! Call your mom!
Really? People still write letters? I forgot how to do that. Granted, I haven’t written a letter in years, but how cool would it be, if you got a handwritten letter in the mail? I know, I know. It’s not easy finding a post office on the road, and if you’re the one of the road, it’s even harder trying to figure out how to have someone send a letter to you. But, still…how cool would it be? Maybe give it a try and put your literally touch on a piece of paper for someone you love! Remind them that you exist on the physical plane(outside of the digital one!) by sending something they can hold!
And, here’s the solution to having to find a post office (at least for the one who is sending the letter or postcard), postcard apps. I told you everything can be done on the Smartphone. There are many postcard apps available, but the one that I am using, and liking, so far is the Postcard App. You can choose a design from them or one of your own pics, type your own message, tell it where to send it, pay online, and done! You should call them later to make sure they got your postcard. You did put a lot of work into that.
Mobile Messaging Apps
OMG! There are so many messaging apps, some I have never heard of, like Viber and Voxer, but you may like them. Click here to find out what more about what could work for you. Good luck. Maybe you should just call your boyfriend. He misses you.
By no means, am I an expert on any of these tools, and if you are traveling overseas, that could be an entirely different post, and we would be talking about SIM cards and cell plans, and new phones…With plans to eventually live overseas, we will be dealing with this soon enough, but for now…
I have to call my mom. Maybe you should call yours.
When we don’t need the phone!
Check out some of our exploring our home away from the road, where we don’t need to reach our family via communication apps!
Need a little less communication?
Start your own journey into your own version of our shoes! Find your own RV adventure!