This is something that I realized a few days back. How was staying abroad different back in 1991, (when I was first in Africa, being 4 years old at this time) and now that I am in Nepal, meaning 17 years after !
Way different of course, as we did not have Skype so it would be the usual « Sunday’s evening phone call » given to my grand parents or my aunts which were always done and never forgotten! It would be writing letters to my family’s members with a lot of my drawings placed inside. The letter would take at least 3 weeks to reach France. Internet has changed literally the way I am an expat here. There are mails, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and many websites which allow you to watch and catch up on French TV shows online.
When I am telling people about my life here in Nepal, they tend to think that I am going to plenty of treks, love nature and all. Yes I do, but no I am not going on treks. I have actually been once wearing unpractical shoes without any preparation and even forgetting to take a trekking permit (what??!). On top of that, I am watching French TV shows and series online. So sometimes, it’s like I would be staying physically in Nepal but my mind is full of French references as if I was staying there. Yes I miss my food, but I can still find great substitutes of French cheese and a nice restaurant in Kathmandu. So it’s not like I would be missing too much my country.
I guess that staying abroad now is much more easier than before. I can talk to my family at anytime, seeing them as if they were next to me. I can send a cute picture of whatever which come to my mind to my brother. I am actually sharing so much than before which we had in the past was few printed pictures that I would show to my cousins. Also, my grand parents would not missed either looking at my classmates group picture back then!
To conclude, internet is playing a strong (and vital) role to stay connected. I would say that I am not living the same way as I would when I was 4 years old in Africa.
PS/ A special photo which reminds me about the tea my mom used to drink in the same exact packaging back in Africa and this tea is also following me in Nepal !