I’ve recently just embarked on a new journey traveling around southeast Asia – an area I’ve always been fascinated with. There something about the culture, technology, location, and remoteness (to a westerner of course) that had always drawn my attention. Well, now I’ve come here to spend a few months exploring, meeting new people, working, writing, and reading.

It’s only been a few days since I landed to Bali in Indonesia, my first location. During my first 24 hours, even prior to arriving here my experience has been quite something. Prior to arriving in Bali I purposely created a 10-hour layover in Doha, Qatar in order to visit the city and explore another culture.

I took a tour of the city of Doha with a group from the airport who was also doing a layover. In this tour, I met some people, one of them was a girl from the Philippines who worked as a stylist for brands in Manila (the capital). We spent the rest of the day sharing information about places we’ve visited. She was on her way to Greece particularly to Mykonos by herself. I quickly remembered my best friend had been there not long ago so I asked him for some tips to share with her. My friend, who lives in London now, shared information on some restaurants to go but most importantly shared a contact so my new friend could get a safe and cheaper ride from the airport to her hostel. I shared the contact with her, and just like that, I had provided tons of value for her (she later told me she saved about €45!). We kept talking and she gave me tons of tips on places to go if I ever visited the Philippines, possibly even to guide me while I’m there. Note taken.

This got me to think about the potential of human networks and the power we have with the knowledge we carry. What we know might be someone else’s treasure and vice versa. But nowadays, I had to ask myself, do we share enough valuable information? No. I believe social media, in general, is being used in a way to increase engagement but of marginal value to the user outside of entertainment (I myself included sometimes). But the power of connecting people should go beyond what we currently do. People have the power to spread wealth and knowledge using the internet. Can we do better?

Back to Bali. Since arriving here I’ve been getting used to the way people, locals mostly, do things in terms of communication, payments, transportation, etc. How they live in comparison to the West. I can only tell that it’s quite fascinating. But I’ll leave that for another post!