HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHEN LIVING ABROAD
Expat life is a challenge in itself, but possibly one of the most difficult parts is losing touch with your loved ones in your home country.
Unfortunately, due to time and distance constraints, it is not always easy to find enough quality time to visit everyone every summer. And even when you manage to see a lot of people, you still have in mind that you should have spent more time there, be more present.
So how do you stop this from happening?
Whereas seeing everyone physically during holidays is challenging, staying in touch virtually has become easier those past few years.
Not so long ago, when you moved to a foreign country, keeping in touch with your relatives in your home country was not so easy, even if calling was technically possible, it was very expensive so it was often kept for special occasions. Writing letters or sending drawings for the children were probably one of the best ways to communicate at this time.
Very fortunately, over the past years, the development of new technologies has reduced this communication gap. You can send short messages anytime with no delay, share photos or videos with your parents or chat about your everyday life during hours with your best friends. You can even share live stream your baby taking his first steps.
Here are a few ways you can maintain and nurture the strong bonds you have with your family and friends when living abroad.
- Try and speak regularly with relatives, it can be easier on pre-arranged time slots (due to time difference or busy daily life). If you are not always at ease with those online conversations, why not try something a bit different that both parties enjoy, like playing a word Game Boggle or some board games where each person on the end of the live stream can see the game. You can even delegate the story time to grand-parents!
- Keep connected via social media by sharing some pictures on WhatsApp or adding story to your Facebook or Instagram pages. It is a great and easy way to let your family and friends know what you are up to in your host country.
- Have many photos of the family and friends around the house, it is a good way to keep talking about relatives with the youngest ones.
- Repeat to your family and friends that they are always welcome to visit at any time and even suggest some dates (they might feel that they are imposing themselves by asking you to come and visit). It is always a good moment to show off your new city, the places you like, the school of the children…
- Allow your older child to travel alone to your home country during short holidays if you are not able to.
Maintaining healthy relationships while you live abroad is crucial to help you fight the homesickness and loneliness that can affect you from time to time. With handy social apps and a bit of effort, you can maintain and even strengthen your relationships and you will definitely feel good about your time abroad!