My Love of Traveling with Internet Atakpame, Togo West Africa Monday, May 7, 2007
I want to stay connected.
I have grown to love the GPRS Cell Phone Internet connection offered in Togo and other countries. I see this expanding fast, it will soon cover the planet in less than 2-5 years. The poorer nations need it more, and they often offer at reasonable price before the richer countries. I am here in Togo, a very slow and primitive culture, however for some quirk of logic and common sense, I have internet in my room, regardless of the hotel, I can choose, where I want to live, and I can communicate with the world. I need a cell phone connection.
My friend Craig now is in the USA, and I have chatted more with him in the last week than in the last year on the internet. I can feel it; he is more connected in the USA and was not connected in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. However, he knows how to stay connected in the USA and it is free or the price of internet is fixed.
Craig has been out for over one year traveling, and has stopped in the USA to visit with friends and family and now leaves for Southeast Asia. http://www.travelvice.com
He told me on chat, I do not have time for RSS feeds while traveling. Moreover, the truth is he does not have time to chat when traveling. I am in Togo and I have time to Chat, he will leave soon and be disconnected again, I will separate a small distance from my friend, the window will be half-open.
Enlightening to me, how somehow with GPRS, I have opened a window to the world, and I have left the darkness. I have the information of the world at my fingertips. I love to get on wikipedia.org and learn, what is this flower in Togo, what is this food, what ethnic groups live here.
I have traveled in darkness too long, I now can go and visit a culture and not stop learning. Last time I was in Africa, I was introduced to so many cultures it was overwhelming. What do I remember about Africa, from before, I know confusion, I can explain the cultures of Benin, however I know very little of the big picture, I only know the on the ground experience, a person could say the name of the culture I live in for a month of two and I would not know.
For 10 years, I needed to be super-organized, super effective for newsletters, blogging, posting, and learning. I would sit in my room and make a list of what I needed to do, then go to the internet café, and slowly check off the list, this is work, this is not spontaneous fun.
Now, if I wanted to read about Hippos, I just turn on my computer and read.
Thank you GPRS, I have been in the Dark for 10 years, the breeze that is entering my brain is refreshing, I have the world of information, the window is open and it feels great..
What does this mean to me; I do not know if I can give this up. I think my love of GPRS is more than my love of some countries. I think I need to wait for some countries to offer GPRS at REASONABLE and realistic prices, and then I will travel to that country. The great part, I truly believe that 80 percent will offer this in the next year, and the other countries will follow within the next 2-5 years.
Land Travel, there is a fashion, a belief, a travelers creed, keep the feet on the ground. How do I go from one GPRS country to the next GPRS country and keep my feet on the ground?
Which country is next in Africa, which country has GPRS that I have not visited? I have not been to Nigeria, but truth is, I can tell, I do not want to go and listen…blah blah blah.
I need to learn about GPRS, maybe offered in Cameroon, Gabon, Liberia, Senegal, Congo, which country is connected at reasonable prices with GPRS. How much to I have to pay in dollars to keep my window open.
WIFI is annoyingly stupid, good for an offices; true wireless connection is with GPRS or something Cell Phone tower related. Satellite is my dream, just unrealistic on price, size of equipment, and what I need to play.
I like spontaneous living, and less being super organized. I want to keep the window open.