I’m an independent, the type of guy that lives in the moment or rather becomes too engulfed in the present, the facts facing me on the ground, to worry about those sitting back home thinking of my health and safety. Some say it’s bravado, I attribute it to laziness. My friends and family felt lucky enough if I chatted with them on the phone once a month while studying in university in New York, imagine how sparse our conversations would be while I cavorted about the globe? And, well, that’s how sparse it was. Sure, I sent an email here and an aim chat there, but seriously who wants to type in gchat when there really is a world of adventure on the other side of the window? I confess I did work on a blog, more for my own vanity than anything else, and I did talk on skype, but it’s hard to strike up a conversation besides the “how do you do’s?” when what you’re doing is as completely foreign as can be. How much time do you have to waste explaining to your dad born in 1954 in Blackfoot, Idaho, what a felucca boat with a man named Captain Jamaica floating down the Nile really entails? Or, what a sleeper bus from Jaipur to Jaisalmer really felt like complete with bidi breaks and Masala Munch? Needless to say one-sided conversations and a whole lot of dead air.
That kind of disparity of distance and knowledge and experience is where Watchitoo really could have added color and ease to the interactions. The site’s platform allows users to upload videos, pictures, documents, any content that could best illustrate their journey into one arena – a technilcolored circus of multimedia collaboration. Watchitoo enables users to invite friends and family to visit their show which becomes more of an invitation into their lives. There they could video conference with the whole family, live type if they didn’t have a webcam, and most importantly experience the content they uploaded on the same timeline. Users laugh together, oo and awe together, and enjoy the closest thing to being together when actually not. I could imagine a particular moment in a video showcasing the out of control oddities of travel and a mother pausing, asking “What is that?!?!” These moments of refined interaction bridge the geographical gaps inherent with travel, allowing users the intimacy of closeness.
What Watchitoo would have really helped me with is those rare moments between hugging the porcelain after eating some bad Daal or the searing pain of nostalgia felt while watching the sun drop past the horizon, I could have been able to hop online and share and interact and feel the comforts of home while being the farthest away I’ve ever been. After all, nothing gets my spirits up more than seeing and hearing my friends and family laugh while watching me do something as stupid and crazy as I’m prone to. I’m sure you’ve gathered already that I’ve returned from said adventures and am partaking in the complexities of reintroducing myself to all those that missed me so. Sadly, I haven’t the opportunity to fly about the good ole’ US of A to say “hi” to all those friends and family that remain distant. Despite that I have to make the obligatory phone calls and attempt to describe the past year of my life. Impossible for the same reasons it was impossible while abroad. The only difference now is I’m privy to Watchitoo.
Using the site to archive photo’s and videos, I am able to relive the adventure. Only, this time, I am able to do so with all those that wished they were there with me. I am able to direct my “Going Global” show, selecting certain videos to highlight different aspects of my travels. I can even befriend those I met while on the road and have them upload content to my show. It’s all about reliving the moments through sharing the experience.
I look forward to living vicariously through your exploits around the world on Watchitoo!
View the Show: http://www.watchitoo.com/#ShowID=wfx-676
Visit Sam’s Blog documenting his ambitious travels through India: http://samisha2india.blogspot.com/