Wander App: Digital Pen Pals from around the World!
complete nerd homebody that I am, I don’t really get the chance to meet a lot of new people very often, so when a friend recommended I try this new app called Wander, I jumped on the chance!
Wander is an iPhone app meant to connect you with strangers from across the globe. I actually think of it as a matchmaker of sorts (not in that kind of way, of course), since each week, it pairs you with another Wander user from a different country. The two of you then act as each other’s “local guides” for a full week (though you can end it earlier), using photosharing and text as a way to sort of step into each others’ shoes and experience one another’s culture and day-to-day activities.
At first I thought the whole was a bit on the weird side… sharing photos with complete strangers? Creepy! But the whole thing is actually pretty cool! I found that the best part of the app is how it gives you daily photo “missions” to help facilitate the sharing (see what I mean about it being a matchmaker?). In a way, it kind of gets rid of the awkwardness that comes with having to come up with something to say or share on your own.
The missions are actually pretty cool. You get some like “What I ate today” or “The view from my window” and some fun ones like “A greeting to my new partner written by hand.” That last one was one of my favorites. Since my guide was from Korea, I tried my hand at writing Annyeonghaseyo in their alphabet.
I was pretty scared I did it wrong.
Here are a couple of other mission photos my guides shared:
How I get to school/work everyday, My favorite TV show
Something that inspires me, How power outlets look in my country
The first two guides I got were from Rochester, US and Seoul, Korea. I think I got pretty lucky because they happened to take some pretty awesome-looking photos.
I downloaded the app just to give it a try but by the time I was on my third guide, I found myself actually looking forward to new missions each day.
Perhaps the only complaint I have about the app (and this could just be an isolated case) is that while it advertises that it has guides from over 80 countries across 6 continents, for some reason, the past 3 guides assigned to me were all from Seoul (I have nothing against them, but I’m hoping to see other places too! Maybe somewhere in Europe or South America.. or Japan so I’d get to try the tap-to-translate feature of the app). Other than that and the couple of times the app has crashed after taking a photo, there isn’t much I can say against Wander. It definitely gets a thumbs up from me!
If you’re an iPhone user, I suggest you give Wander a try!