If I am honest, when the Ceiva arrived at my door, I thought very little about it and threw it in the back of my closet and pondered other things. I eventually found about a month later, along with my electric bill — I opened both.

So what is Ceiva and what does it have to do with travel? Ceiva is a magical frame that magically imports digital photographs and magically displays them at home when travelers are traveling (as long as there is a working Internet connection). No really! Ceiva is a digital picture frame with a homing device that tracks down photos that travelers send to it.

I first tried Ceiva out in Mexico City about a month ago. I sent Ceiva a half a dozen photos to test, it worked. That night, my fiancé responded with questioning enthusiasm, “You know that frame by your desk? It has new photos on it. Did you do that? How did you do that? Is it magic? Mexico City sure is crowded.” She was right. Mexico City is crowded. She was also correct. I did do that. I sent photos through my iPhotos program from my Mac (although I am told it works with any computer or platform) with the use of a small plugin I downloaded from the Ceiva website.

I tested Ceiva in several other destinations with varying levels of Internet connection while I was in Central America recently and all the images came through beautifully. While the process of how the frame works is beyond my comprehension (that is why it is “magic”), set up was not a big deal.

I used the help from Ceiva’s http://www.ceiva.com/ website rather than attempt to decipher the instructions on my own, which felt a little complicated. I was walked through step-by-step until the program was up and running (in about ten minutes). Of course, using a wi-fi signal will make sure the Ceiva can be placed anywhere in the home.

Since then, I have used it on trips to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico again, the rugged OC in southern California and in my own living room. While I could manually upload photos to Ceiva, I am much too lazy for that.

Buyers should know that after the first year the photo transfer service costs $99 a year. Within the first year, the Ceiva service is included for free in the initial purchase.

I would call Ceiva an ideal frame for anyone who travels regularly or wants to keep in visual contact with friends around the world – there is a component within Ceiva that allows for network sharing). Having said that, this is a product that, for me, falls into the category of “Technology freakin’ magic!”

For more about Ceiva visit http://www.ceiva.com/