‘Grounded’ grey nomads Zoom into the era of the virtual Happy Hour

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grey nomads using zoom for virtual happy hour
Connect with your nomad friends for an online chinwag

In a topsy-turvy world where – incredibly – it’s become ‘normal’ that state borders are closed and self-isolation is a ‘thing’, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that the era of the ‘virtual Happy Hour’ could be about to dawn.

With caravanners and motorhomers suddenly ‘off the road’ and often at the other end of the country from new friends they were shooting the breeze with in the amenities block just a week earlier, staying in touch in a ‘grey nomad way’ should be a challenge … but it’s not.

The coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly thrust some technologies to the forefront of the newly-housebound population’s consciousness and the video-conferencing app, Zoom, is certainly one of those.

It’s actually been around since 2011 when it was created by Chinese software engineer, Eric Yuan, but it’s only now that it has really taken off. With large swathes of the world in lockdown, the app has been downloaded more than 50 million times on the 10 Google app store alone.

Basically, it offers colleagues, family members and friends a digital way to stay in touch with each other. You can use the technology to ‘meet’ a group of people at a certain time and you can see them on a split screen and talk to them, just as you would in real life … sort of.

The ongoing social distancing rules has seen more and more older people organising Zoom parties and, for newly grounded grey nomads that can only mean one thing … virtual Happy Hours.’

Actually, the free version of Zoom only offers multipleparticipants video conferencing for a maximum 40 minutes so – unless stay-at-home nomads choose to invest some of the money they’re saving on fuel to upgrade to a paid version – they will have to settle for a Happy 40 Minutes!

Not to worry, in the new topsy-turvy world, grey nomads will take a win wherever they can get one. So, it’s time to take your computer or phone into the backyard, pull up a campchair and a glass of something refreshing and let Happy Hour 2020-style get under way.

  • Have you tried a Zoom conference call yet? Would you be up for a virtual Happy Hour with some of the travellers you have met along the way? Email us here to share your thoughts.
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