Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Homesickness Relievers

Hi Everyone,

Living in another part of the world is a great adventure—there are so many new things to see and do! I am enjoying many of my adventures in the Czech Republic, but sometimes, I do get really homesick—missing my family and friends, my dog (Pal), and things like a good old-fashioned pot roast cooked for hours in a crock pot!

One of the greatest things that has helped to ease my homesickness is the Internet. It allows me to read all the news from back home, and allows me to talk to my family most every day, and stay in touch via email. It is a wonderful invention (Al—you really didn’t create the Internet!!!!) that has helped me in the transition of moving from the US to the Czech Republic.

One of my favorite programs to use on the Internet is Gtalk—created by the Google people. Gtalk allows me to very simply and easily talk to everyone back home every day—for free. The program is free and doesn’t take up much space on my lap top, and with it, I can either type (like regular IM) or I can even talk with the voice application in Gtalk. It also allows me to very quickly share files (such as pictures) with my family and friends back home! This program works very smoothly most of the time, however, on busy holidays it can be congested and the voice application doesn’t work as well. But most of the time, it is clear and smooth. Gtalk is a necessity, as far as I’m concerned, and has really helped with my homesickness by letting me talk to everyone (my folks, my kids, and even my 93 year-old grandmother) on a very regular basis!

I am a voracious reader…I can’t be without a book, or it drives me crazy! Reading is almost like breathing for me! I have found that it is a bit of an adventure to find reading material in English here, even in Prague. It is possible to find English books and magazines, but they are so very expensive! So, I began to look to the Internet for my reading material and I found a wealth of books and magazines in digital format that fill the bill quite nicely. There are websites that offer e-books for free, such as Project Gutenberg. This site offers e-books, in various formats, all for free. Much of my reading material comes from here. There are also many e-book websites that offer e-books for sale. Many of them offer current best-sellers. They can be a bit pricey, too, but are still cheaper than buying books in English here. I have bought some books from such websites and read them on my PDA. It wasn’t so easy making the transition from paper books to digital ones, but now I’m a convert and will not travel without my PDA loaded up with several good books!

Another program that has allowed me to obtain English reading material via the Internet is Zinio. This site offers digital magazines, in all kinds of genres, in English. Some of the magazines are expensive, but I found a couple that are pretty inexpensive, and was able to install the Zinio program onto my computer with no trouble. The program allows you to download the magazines as they become available. The Zinio program has a delivery manager that will alert you if there is a new issue of your publication available. Zinio will also send an email to alert you that a new issue is available. This has been a wonderful program for me! I receive one of my favorite women’s magazines this way and am able to enjoy it fully on my computer! The Zinio program allows you to page through the magazine—it is almost the same as holding the real magazine! The other good thing is that this is a virtual magazine…so no trees are used to publish the digital version you read on the computer! When you are done with the magazine, then you can delete it, which allows you to free up disk space on your hard drive. I really do enjoy this program and it does help a bit with my homesickness!

There are more programs that help me to stay in touch with home--I’ll talk about them another time. It is wonderful that we have the Internet nowadays and all these ways to stay in touch with family and friends, and news, etc. from back home! All of these things help me with homesickness…I have a touch of home right on my lap top every day!

That’s all for now…you all have a great day!

God bless,

Sherry :0)

PS I'm not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned, but I do find them very useful and like to share this information if it might help others who are in the same boat! :0)

http://czechoffthebeatenpath.googlepages.com

© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath

2 comments:

geraldo said...

Hola Sher,
I was just looking for blogs in Czech Republic
when I found by chance yours. it is a quite interesting one and very beautiful.
Best wishes from Brazil:
Geraldo

Adam said...

Dear Sherry,

Thanks for mentioning Zinio as a "homesick reliever." Many of our most loyal customers are frequent travelers or live abroad. In addition to downloading your favorite publications, you can also enjoy them online anywhere you have an internet connection. We'd love to hear more about your travels and how you zinio. Drop us a note at customercorner@zinio.com or join our Facebook group "I read, therefore I zinio" at http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?gid=10273373695&add

Read on,

Adam Kadleck
Director of Customer Service
Zinio, LLC