Skype has been part of my life ever since I moved to New York City eight years ago. What began as a way to stay in touch with friends and family back home in Romania, evolved in a daily ritual to stay connected with people around the world, whether home in NYC or on the road. I’m a travel writer; I have shared my travels in real time, and have constantly connected with fellow travel peers when working on travel assignments. With the help of Skype video calling, I have shared priceless travel memories, or better yet Skype Moments.
It was 8:30 AM and I had a busy day planned ahead of me. As I frantically applied that last brush of powder and checked the symmetry of my eyeliner, I made sure I had everything I needed.
Smart phone, check. Tablet, check. Laptop, check. I didn’t want to be late for a 9AM call.
As I swiftly arrive to my favorite café, I order my usual latte and salmon bagel. Once Wije calls, we talk about my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka.
Unbelievably, my parents – to whom I always speak with via Skype video call – have seen my fascination for this island nation, and have spontaneously booked a trip there. In fact, today marked their first day there.
As they share their first impressions from Kalutara, I cannot help think that as hard as it often is to travel and be away from family, months at a time, these moments are what make it worth it; these moments of exploration, of discovering more of the world and yourself, and sharing it with those closest to you. It was right then, and there, in that Bushwick café, that I realized who inspired me to travel in the first place and why my trip to Sri Lanka was going to be yet another transformative experience.
It’s now close to 2PM and I am rushing to arrive in time at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, to meet with the esteemed Mr. Waruna Sri Dhanapala, Minister Counselor. Feeling a little nervous and a whole lot excited.
With no big fuss or unnecessary formality, I am taken upstairs and introduced to the revered Minister Council, which takes me around the Mission hallways in a custom tour that touches upon Sri Lanka’s main tourism attractions.
“Sri Lanka is the land of a thousand smiles,” the Minister Council says to me.
Once our meeting comes to an end, we greet each other in the traditional Sri Lankan salutation and off I go; but not before I am courteously invited for a cup of traditional tea.
Next stop was Fort Greene, in Brooklyn, to meet Mickela, a fellow travel blogger and friend.
It turns out Mickela had the tablet ready to call Vincent over in Montreal via Skype video, to propose I cover the Montreal en Lumiere Festival this February. At its 15th year anniversary, the festival is gearing up to be a 10-day extravaganza of arts & culture, amazing shows & concerts and some of the best fine dining that Quebec has to offer.
At the end of the day, I felt exhausted but entirely thankful. I looked over my Skype calls and I realized it was a productive day.
As I order a soothing ginger tea, and accidentally almost drop the whole label in the steaming hot water, I am surprised to see a message:
“Life is a chance. Love is infinity. Grace is reality.”
And thanks to Skype, sharing one’s experiences is nothing short than a gratifying reality.