I’m not a dangerous, co-dependent psycho in most ways, but there’s this creepy cyber-stalking thing I do when my peeps go on vacation without me. So what if I’m left to my colorless, futile life while my supposed loved ones frolic in exotic climes? I can track them online in a pathetic, cry-for-help sort of attempt to share the fun vicariously.
Let’s take the example of my kid, a young adult who fecklessly went on a cruise without me. (I will leave for now the question of why children who spend their early years being trundled around the world by their loving parents would reciprocate by taking other people on their travels. I consider this a very bloggable topic, to which I shall later return.)
So, given that the kid wisely turns off her cell phone and pretends the ship does not have an Internet café, how do I track her movements and share her trip, whether she likes it or not? Here’s how …
First, there are lots of places to track the departures and arrivals of airline flights. That service has been available for years. Here’s one from Travelocity.
It’s also pretty easy to see a cruise itinerary so you know where the traveler is every day.
Or to check on the weather wherever the ship is going:
Or even to have a real-time look at the weather where the ship is going.
And it’s easy to actually see the ship itself, at least in some ports. Like Miami’s:
Some ships even have their own webcams, though my daughter wisely chose one that does not.
Of course this is far more effective if it involves more interactive elements, such as plaintive text messages (Ice storm ending here. Hope you’re having fun), camera phone photos (Look, it’s me doing the laundry. Pls send pix of beach.) or voice mail (I’m sure you’re too busy to return my call. Enjoy the snorkeling. Don’t worry about us.)
All right, it’s not actually possible to share the fun. But it’s definitely possible to spread some guilt.