Blogging with Technology
Welcome back folks. I’m back again with an another electronics installment, but this time I wanted to look at how things have changed over the years for the solo-traveller who likes to keep an online travel blog – or travelogue, if you will. Travel blogging is a lot more popular these days as it once was and changes in technology have assisted greatly. These days it’s all about tablets, but when I left England and hit the road in 2004, the most advanced technology available to me was basic PDAs and Bluetooth keyboards.
I’ve been on the road for over twelve years now. I’ve settled in various countries for various chunks of time and for various reasons over the years and at present, I spend most of my days living on the coast in Cambodia.
Right back when I left England I made a conscious choice to avoid emailing people, unless it was absolutely necessary. Leaving ‘for good’ in anyone’s world is a huge decision and as a result I had a lot of support. I also had just as many – if not more – negative responses and a great number of people trying to talk me out of it, for various reasons, most of them selfish ones on their part. Back then this didn’t make sense, though years later it couldn’t be clearer.
So, my decision to avoid emailing went hand-hand-in with my decision to keep an online travel blog (travelogue). This meant setting up an account with a travel blog site and posting regular updates of what I was up to, where I was heading next, my personal well being and my feelings in general. This would allow me to provide ‘news’ that people could take or leave and also comment or reply is they wanted to.
Back then however, the technology that would enable me to achieve all this was few and far between, in fact at the beginning, when I left England on a one-way ticket to New Zealand I had nothing. In the early New Zealand days I would spend most early mornings in a little Asian coffee shop in Auckland supping wonderfully rich filtered cups of local coffee and tapping away on one of their 4 desktop PCs up on the mezzanine floor. I have to say that looking back it was a time I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and the food was to die for.
Discovering the PDA
It wasn’t long – maybe a month or so – that I found myself in a high-street electronics store one day and happened to notice something that looked like it could do the job. This was late 2004 and in was about when the first PDAs came onto the market. This little device (I can’t for the life of me remember the brand) was a hand-held PDA with a black & white LCD screen and a separate fold out Bluetooth keyboard. They let me have a little play in the store and within seconds I agreed to buy it. This meant I could keep my travelogue up-to-date from pretty much anywhere, write the entries on the PDA, store them on an SD card, and upload them whenever I made it back to civilization. I was delighted.
Looking back the technology was awfully primitive but I got so much use of it, and it never let me down. A couple of years later I returned to Spain to carry out a surprise visit to my parent’s who had recently sold up and retired there. As it was all planned I’d arrange arranged for a catch up with one of my best buddies who agreed to fly over from England to Spain for a week’s jolly as part of my surprise visit. Naturally, I got on Ebay and had him bring all sorts of gadgets, the main one being a top end HP PDA with a Windows Mobile operating system, and wireless capabilities. After returning back to New Zealand and getting to grips with it the difference was positively joyous: a longer battery life, colour screen wireless internet, email and games! I was thrilled and more importantly, I kept the travelogue going. Only this time I didn’t need to get myself to an internet café at all, except for the ease of uploading pictures from my camera.
The Travellers Laptop
It wasn’t long however that technology raced ahead of me and I succumbed to buying my first laptop – a wonderful 10-inch Sony Vaio. Now I could do anything of course. Since then I’ve made the switch from PC to Mac and while the convenience of maintaining a blog these days is comforting, there’s also an element of sadness associated with that kind of progress too. I still associate the good old days with the days when I’d take out the old PDA and keyboard and tap away in my own little world. It was a wonderful novelty, and I guess still is.
These days of course I often use my tablet but I’m seriously thinking about getting myself another wireless keyboard, as it’s too long-winded tapping on the on-screen keyboard. Luckily, I’ve found a great site offering all kinds of hand-held gadgets and accessories, they’ve also got the perfect keyboard for what I’m looking for too: http://www.for-sale.ie/android-wireless-keyboard . Take a look; you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, thanks for reading folks, until next time..