Monday, March 7, 2011

Pro Tips for the Newly Isolated 101

Being far away from home for an extended period of time can lead to a sense of isolation that only makes someone already experiencing culture shock feel only worse. Whether you are an expat, an exchange student, or simply by way of fate stuck in a foreign country, this applies. I can personally attest to this, as into my second month here alone in my apartment with pretty much only Spanish television, I was miserable. But I WILL say that watching the Dukes of Hazard dubbed in Spanish is one of the most surreal experiences you could ever partake in....
Okay, so maybe the mustache is an embellishment...
"Aye CARAMBA yo odio los chicos Dukes!!"
El Alguacil Roscoe P. Clotrane-o 

 Well, once again, the Internet is your friend in this situation. Go ahead and turn off the TV and open up your web browser when you start feeling isolated, there are nice comfy digital windows with which you can connect to home. It doesn't take that much tech savvy to be able to use your computer as a crystal ball to peer back home, or elsewhere even!

One of my favorite places is RadioTime.com, it's a free online service that lets you listen to streaming radio stations from anywhere on the planet, including your home town! Think of how nice and chill it would be to do your work or studying at night while listening to the same radio station you always have. You can get news and traffic reports, or listen to whatever zany morning show kept you company on your work commute in the States or elsewhere. I like this station far more than any other similar subscription site, and it's light on ads and very user friendly. I still listen to "The Prarie Home Companion" and "Coast to Coast AM" whenever I get the chance via this site.

If just audio isn't comforting enough, and you prefer video, wwiTV.com is an excellent resource with which to find live streaming television feeds. This is also a free service, and although the site itself is a bit ad-heavy, it moves quickly enough and is pretty iser friendly. The scrolling menu on the left will eventually take you down to the US stations which are catagorized by location. Clicking into that sub menu, takes you to the channel list itself and tells you the signal strength and whether or not the feed is live or pre recorded. The beauty of this site is that it has feeds from all around the world, so even if you are not feeling isolated and just wanted to do some exploring, there's alot of curiosity to be satisfied here. For the record, Japanese game shows ARE as twisted as they say...

If this still isn't enough for you, and you want to take a genuine real-time look back towards home, then one of the many remote camera sites. Out of all of them (and believe me, I've looked at ALL of them), EarthCam.com is by far the best. If your home town had even a single traffic cam, then odds are that it is archived here. Some of them even allow for remote control, allowing you to pan and zoom for picking out details or people. Others are in incredible high definition, so you can maximize the image and feel as though you are really there. And, as are the best things online, it is absolutely free. The ad content on this site is at a nice dull roar, but your browser will require the most recent update of Flash of which there are links.

So that should keep you going until either you get acclimated to your new surroundings or you find your happy thought. I suggest trying dating, but your particular situation may or may not allow for that. But if the distance from home seems too far away for comfort, just know you have these resources to always fall back on that cost you no more than your monthly internet bill.

31 comments:

mac-and-me said...

all i need when i am away from home is
internet :3

Spongeworthy said...

My computer keeps me warm at night.
Im so lonely....

Tony Storm said...

as you can guess by looking at my blog i spend a lot of hours lurking around on youtube, trying to find awesome videos, playing some online games and watching my favorite shows

baxxman said...

The internet is always nice to me :-)
Baxxmans

Diorf said...

No place like your home(page)!

Siphil said...

The Dukes of Hazzardo sounds pretty hilarious. I actually enjoy isolation. If I could be stranded on an island that would just be awesome.

Bluntmasta Flex said...

I had to figure this out my own back in the day.

Chris said...

Essential to survival.

Banacek said...

I'm curious what Roscoe's laugh sounds like. Do they still call Flash Flash?

Daniel Andrade said...

"Aye CARAMBA" ^^

GFTM said...

all i need is my cellphone sadly, damn technology

Astronomy Pirate said...

Earthcam is great regardless. There are some weird, unique things out there. I found a cam watching a tank of piranhas once.

G said...

I got rid of my TV a few years back... and now stream everything I need from the beloved interweb

following

Shutterbug said...

Thanks for the info. ;)

-DO- said...

i <3 internet, i replaces TV, radio, papers ... the world would be boring without it

Con Queso said...

I dread the day I lose my internet =(

ebm93 said...

Isolation doesn't seem like a problem at first, but it sucks in the long run -.-

rinns said...

If I ever leave Australia I'll make sure to take your advice :D

Even if I wasn't experiencing culture shock I would still be on the computer..

Robert Fünf said...

The internet is my home.....Unfortunately, it's been down in my apartment all day. :(

Josh said...

I feel like the internet can worsen isolation. When I waste an afternoon online, I realize how much socializing I could have done.

HaigoR said...

Internet seems to be the number one thing people cannot survive without. What has this world come to? Keep up with good posts. I'm very interested in how life and especially nightlife is in Costa Rica.

Sam said...

Ahh the dukes...I miss watching that show. They used to broadcast it here in Mexico but they stopped doing it like...8 years ago. Maybe more.

Great info.

Kim Anders said...

interwebz!

Glovey said...

Yeah I just need the internet and i'm pretty much sorted! :P

Patti D. said...

home is where your heart is, this is my motto.

Spike said...

internet is multifunction, but withou a device and electricity it is useless XD

Merlyy said...

Nice post as the internet is nice :D^^

Anonymous. said...

Internet. Yeahhh.

The Critic said...

Earthcam is great when I'm homesick, just to see everything is still there.

Alphabeta said...

Dukes in Spanish must be a riot.

Megan said...

i didnt know about wwitv!! that sounds awesome (im about to be an expat soon actually...so this is great news and information!).