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Staying in Contact with Family Back Home after The Move to America

07 May, 2014 08:00  Erin Erin

At EasyExpat we provide the latest and greatest in expat news, but sometimes a personal journey can best explain the unique challenges and triumphs involved in moving abroad. Meet Molly and follow along on her adventure in the Move to America.

contact home move to americaWhen you are living abroad, staying in contact with family and friends back home becomes a really important part of life. It is a great source of comfort, and can help you feel more settled if you know you have some kind of access to loved ones.

I have found that using a variety of ways to contact people has kept things fun, and made communicating something to look forward to. There are a number of ways to stay a part of life back home. Here is what I have used:

Letter Writing

I will admit that I have not really used the traditional post too often recently to send letters, what with the instant access modern technology allows, but this has proved the most meaningful and special. I enjoy taking the time to write a letter or quick note, and have really enjoyed receiving one in return. Obviously there is a cost involved - to send a card to the UK, it now costs $1.15, but it is worth it.

Emails

This for me is mainly used if I want to fill people in with what has been going on, and is a great way to send/attach photographs to let everyone back home keep track of my adventures. It also works both ways, I really enjoy getting emails with general updates and pictures - a good way to be a part of family events like significant birthdays or weddings etc.

FaceTime/Skype

I am so very grateful for the ability to use video calls with friends and family - it feels very special and it is good to see people and have a good catch up. There are many apps/varieties of this type of phone call, and I would not be without it.

International Calling

I am lucky enough to have a phone data package via my mobile that allows for international calls and texts. It is worth checking before you sign up for a particular mobile phone package as not all tariffs support international calls etc. As far as I could find out, here in the U.S, many of the mobile providers offer a $30, $50, $70 and $90 data plan. The $50+ tariffs are the ones you can add international talk and text to for an additional cost of $10. In all, I pay $60 a month, which is higher than I would like, but it means I can call and text people back in the UK whenever I want.

WhatsApp, etc.

There are also apps that allow you to text internationally, as long as the person you are communicating with has the same app. I use WhatsApp to text various friends who have it downloaded too.

There is a wealth of ways you can keep in contact and it is good to have a mixture of the instant - for urgent communications, for example - and the more traditional. It all makes for a feeling of being connected, which is so important.

If you have found this useful, or have any other ways you use to stay in contact with loved ones abroad, leave a comment here or visit my blog The Move to America.

This topic is just in time for Mother's Day in many countries (May 11th) so be sure to connect with your mom and read our post on Living Abroad on Mother's Day. Look for Molly's earlier posts in the Moving Abroad category as well as new posts every month. 

   



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