Help! My Net is Losing its Stranglehold


Linda J. Brown Backpacking Around the World – Alone – At 75

Why can’t I….why won’t I, blog anymore? It’s been soooo long since I posted anything on either of my websites: and By now, the news that I need to share to catch everyone up on my life is so extensive that I simply put off doing it, over and over again. 

Plus, the underlying problem is not likely to clear up for at least six weeks. It could even be next year before the situation changes. 

When did the internet take over my life? I can’t even remember. I was using tower computers in 1989 to organize grassroots group tours to the Soviet Union just as the country opened up. Dos! I remember those exciting green words moving across the screen. We had a “sort of a way” to connect with groups of other people who owned computers throughout the world, but it wasn’t, at all, what we have now; though we could exchange what amounted to emails. 

I know, because people throughout the USA and Europe signed onto these two-week friendship/homestay trips to finally get acquainted with the Russian people. Everything was done with our big desktop computers and fax machines. We were so modern! Plus, there was no such thing as a slow computer. Everything was faster than the postal system. No matter that it might take ten minutes to send. 

But it wasn’t the web! 

I bought my first laptop in 2000 and used it mainly as an improved typewriter. Maybe the internet came along during those years. I truly can’t remember because I lived in beautiful Aspen, Colorado and my time was filled with real-space-and-time activities like mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, work and social activities. Not cybertime! 

In 2003, I moved to Florida to help my son. We both had computers. Towers, as I recall. I discovered emailing, blogging, and travel arranging online. Wheee! 

By 2005, when I went around the world solo for the first time, the net was alive and well and internet cafes had sprung, like mushrooms, throughout the northern hemisphere. I wrote a regular blog on the Aussie backpacking site, Boots’n’áll. Email proved that I was surviving the “Dangers of The Road” to friends and family. 

Computer dependency was full blown by then; and deepened when I returned to write and publish three books in a row, as well as nine movie scripts. By then, I ran two websites of my own. 

In 2012, I launched my second solo round the world journey, which I will be on for the foreseeable future. I am dependent upon the internet for money functions; ticket and accommodation purchasing and writing and researching. Is there any other way? Like a spider, I must now remain connected to the center of my own complex cyber-universe. This time around, a laptop and its accoutrements weighs down my suitcase. 

But, guess what! I’m in the South Pacific! American Samoa, right now….in lush rainforests; on volcanic islands; surrounded by tall mountains, coral beaches, turqoise seas. I’m in Paradise! People here are modern but still live in villages, with tribal/family shelters called fale’s and their ancesters’ graves in their front yards. 

They do have internet here, but it’s sort of like, way back in the early 2000’s, technologically. Computers are common but wi-fi is isolated to hot spots, which cost an arm and a leg.  

I scramble to maintain the computer lifestyle to which I had, heretofore, become accustomed. My serious dependency has been revealed. Being in Oceania is like being in Rehab. And it’s working!  

I’ll never give up the computer, though I might “diet,” now and then. I’m a writer, after all, attempting the most awkward and ambitious project of my life; so I’m well-hooked. But, my extended Island Time is teaching me that I had become a wee bit carried away with my own obligations and it’s not going to kill me to wake up and smell the Frangipani. 

What in the world has happened to us all, during the past twelve years? 

How’s your Cyberlife going? 

Linda J. Brown studied Journalism & Broadcasting at the University of Florida; produced two radio programs in the ’70’s; planned and led grassroots tours to the Soviet Union in the ’90’s; backpacked alone around the world for a year in 2006 solely on her Social Security; published three books and numerous articles, as well as eight movie scripts. She is accepted as a Bermuda Historian for her extensive work on a large letter/photograph collection concerning her maternal great-grandparents: the Hollis Family Letters, donated to the Bermuda Archives. Now involved in her second solo ramble around the world, she will present another historical collection from her father’s early sailing days during a speaking tour to American Samoa, as well as shop her sea saga script, The Insatiable Sea, to the New Zealand Film Industry. Brown describes her life as “Wingdingarooney!”



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