I first used a portable wifi device in Africa, I arrived after a long overnight flight, an over excited travel blogger (most of my travels are over on A Residence) keen to start sharing my first impressions of Tanzania on social media. Remarkably the taxi driver handed me a tiny white plastic oval and within seconds I was sharing images from the car window.
Both of my trips to Africa with Comic Relief have been about live blogging, and they really gave me a taste for it. I think there’s something really different, immediate and engaging about live blogging/tweeting/instagramming your travels. I love it when my friends go away and I can see a window into their world through their social media. When they come back I feel more connected to their experience, so more interested in the rest of the holiday.
Okay, I admit sometimes it makes me feel a bit jealous, but I am travel hungry, I love the inspiration seeing other people’s travels gives me, the chance to be in their pocket, if only fleetingly. Travel blogging is a delicate art, getting the balance right so you don’t just annoy people. I don’t mind seeing a toe, knee or even a face selfie, as long as you don’t block out the sights completely – it is almost as if I want the proof you are actually there, not just some picture postcard shot, although I love them too.
Holidays have a shelf life. In real life people don’t often want to hear about it when you get back, it’s so last week. Your own memories, thoughts and feelings fade and I find that can come through in my writing. Post holiday blues, I feel sad to be home, my writing takes on an air of distance and desperation. I have to force myself to look at the pictures, to find the words, to take myself back there in my mind, it’s an effort. Reliving the journey can of course be the great thing about holiday pictures. But when I am away, well my writing flies free, sailing high and full of the joys. We always kept a scrapbook, then a journal as kids, and blogging fills that desire.
I’ve learnt from bitter experience to not let social media interrupt my holiday, especially when travelling with my kids, I snap to relish and compliment the real life moments, but now accept I don’t need to capture them all. I resist the temptation to share immediately, instead I bide my time and when the rest of my family are relaxing, I revisit my snaps and share some carefully chosen windows into my holiday world. Sometimes I get it wrong, too many cocktails, too many selfies…
This Summer I decided to keep Corfu pretty secret, it was amazing, but the weeks are passing by and memories are fading. It seems harder to blog about it the further it slips away…I need a date with my holiday snaps this week!
Obviously cost and access to wifi can be an issue too. It’s been while since I totally unplugged on holiday, but to be honest I am not sure it’s completely necessary, I accept actually having the time to share some images I really love and talk to people back home about travel, without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else, actually brings me a lot of pleasure.
All Day Internet created a device which works as portable WiFi. It means you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously, great for busy families who have laptops, phones, iPads, tablets, PSPs etc. They blogged here about WIFI in Valencia for tourists with AlldayInternet devices. The devices mean you will be able to surf the internet through the Spanish 3G network without paying exorbitant roaming costs.
How about you, do you share holiday pictures as you go, as soon as you get back, later on, or never at all?