Although 2020 has been a challenge for all of us, it also made us rely more heavily on technology to reach one another. That means that more options have become more commonplace to stay connected with family from abroad.
In other words, we’re finding better, more creative ways to stay in touch!
Below, you’ll find a list of what we believe are the best ways to stay connected with family and friends from abroad. These are tried and true ideas that we’ve been putting in practice to reach our loved ones.
1. Make room for phone calls and video chats
Just because you’re not meeting up with someone in person doesn’t mean you can’t “make plans” for staying connected with your family. Set a time and date to call someone, be it recurrent or a one-time thing. Add it to your calendar and commit to it. Not only will this ensure the call actually happens, but it’ll also make the other person feel like you value them and treasure the time you get to spend together.
2. Keep track of important personal information
A big source of anxiety when moving abroad is the severing of the emergency contact. If you don’t live close to your family, they can’t be the person you list in case of emergencies and vice versa. However, by keeping track of important details like insurance information, doctors’ numbers, and appointment schedules, you’ll feel ready to help out at a moment’s notice.
3. Send a postcard
There’s nothing wrong with keeping it old fashioned! In fact, while technology is more convenient, nothing beats receiving something tangible from that person you’re missing. After all, if calls and vide chats were enough, we’d never miss those who are far. Postcards are short, sweet, and easy to put on display.
4. Start a blog or get vlogging
Not all of us are inclined to the influencer life, but what about starting a private blog or YouTube channel? These are great tools to stay connected with your loved ones and keep them informed about your new life overseas. Give them a tour of your new place, your favorite spot in town, or your birthday celebration. By providing your loved ones with a window into your everyday life, they’ll feel much closer to you and a part of your new journey.
5. Send money for monthly bills or special occasions
One of the backbones of family life is sharing financial responsibilities. And the value of this has little to do with money. It’s about knowing you can count on someone’s help when there’s an emergency or you’re struggling. It means opening ways for a better everyday life or returning the favor to those who supported you. By sending money, you can stay connected to your family while abroad and make sure they know you’re still there for them, distance aside.
6. Make plans for a future visit
Once you’ve lived in more than one place, you’re sure to miss aspects from your old home. At the same time, you will grow to love new things that you wish to share with those left behind. Next time you discover a new part of town or remember an ice cream shop you loved back home, write it down. This way, whenever you are able to reunite with your loved ones, you’ll remember exactly what you missed or what you wanted to show them. At the end of the day, an important aspect of staying connected to family while abroad is creating new memories whenever you visit each other. It’ll prove to you that distance is no match for love.
7. Remember important events
Each culture has different celebrations, and it might be hard to keep track of yours if you’ve moved abroad. However, a surefire way to stay connected to your family, your friends, and your roots is to keep upholding and celebrating the traditions that were once dear to you. The same goes for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc. Just because you can’t be there in person, doesn’t mean you can’t be present for these important events.
8. Stay true to the flow of each relationship
As humans, we relate to one another through shared experiences, likes, and dislikes. The easiest way to keep bonds alive amid the distance is to uphold how you relate to each important person in your life. For example, if you share a love for football with your brother, keep up with him about games and merchandise you might find on your walk home. Your brother will be happy that you’re thinking of him and, as a result, you’ll continue to strengthen your bond.
9. Prioritize the family group chat
Life gets busy, especially when we’re trying to make our way in a new environment. So, it’s normal that we will struggle to find time to stay in touch with each and every family member. That’s when family group chats come in handy. Everyone is in one place, and so are all the new pictures and updates. Think of it as your digital home.
Being far from those we care about is hard but living abroad can also be an enriching experience. We hope that these tips help you stay connected with your loved ones so you can enjoy guilt and stress-free what your new home has to offer.