Today’s socio-political climate is intense. Not a day goes by without something happening. Whether it’s the president edging towards nuclear war, or politicians and celebrities being accused of sexual assault, the news is on our minds all the time.

There’s a downside to this, obviously, in that we can get caught up in the chaos. It can get us down instead of spurring us to action. What else could happen when it’s one outrage after another?

At the same time, we need to keep informed. What’s happening in the country does not have a limited effect. It impacts all our lives, sometimes in a very personal way. Health care legislation could mean the difference between life and death for an average citizen. Racial hatred makes us feel vulnerable, but we don’t want to be oblivious to it.

So, when we’re outside the U.S., it’s important to us to stay informed. This can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re going somewhere with a significantly different time zone (in other words, just about anywhere outside of the Americas).

How do we do it? Here are some tips on how to stay informed while traveling abroad.

Take American TV with you

It’s hard to stay on top of the news because broadcasters outside the country are focused on more local issues. Yes, just about everyone is interested in what’s going on here. But they’re not nearly as interested as we are. Robert Mueller’s investigation gets coverage, but only to an extent.

Unfortunately, U.S. TV and news stations do not allow you to stream video outside the country. They have geo-restrictions in place which limit the facility to Americans in America.

However, there is a way around these restrictions. This is how to stream U.S. television abroad.

By using a virtual private network (VPN), you can make it appear that you’re in the States even when you’re not. A VPN routes your connection through an external server. If you use a provider with servers in the U.S., you’ll be able to stream American networks. Most VPNs do require a subscription, but won’t charge you more than $10 a month (and you can cancel when you’re back).

But there’s another way to keep informed while out of the country, and maybe it’s a new way to start looking at politics.

Check in the morning after

When you’re anywhere east of the country, you’re probably waking up when we’re going to sleep. This means that you wake up at the end of our news day. As soon as you’re up, you can go online to check out what happened while you were sleeping. You can view plenty of Youtube videos that were posted soon after broadcast. You’re not going to be keeping up live, but that can be a better way to get by.

Today, we’re constantly stuck in the news cycle. It can get unhealthy. Being informed is important, but we don’t need to keep to the news schedule. Once everything is wrapped up for the day, we can get a summary of what’s important, rather than all the details that seemed so important at the time.

Try doing this at home, too. It’s not helpful to constantly be switched on. Not by news of the people leading this country, anyway. You can be more productive, less stressed, and generally happier just by going through most of the day uninformed!

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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