I recall earlier trip, when calling home was expensive and often difficult. Time have changed, thanks to the internet and Apple. FaceTime is great, if you do not mind how you look on camera or how you catch the other person. Women can be alarmed at their appearance, if make-up has not been copiously applied. This invention is even better than what Dick Tracy's creator foresaw...
If one swings the camera around, one can even provide a travelogue and give a much better impression than words can convey. Of course, there must be times when one does not want to reveal too much. It is possible the put a finger over the lens, but that will require a plausible explanation.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.