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Letters from Abroad: How to stay in touch with friends and family while abroad

Undoubtedly the biggest obstacle expats face when moving abroad is saying goodbye to friends and family. Although farewells involve promising you’ll send postcards and Facetime each other on the weekends, this does little to ease concerns that you’ll drift apart. Lucky for you Overseasy has done the research and can offer advice on the best ways to stay in touch with friends and family while abroad.

Schedule regular phone and video calls


It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos that comes with moving abroad. From locating your nearest supermarket to scheduling your Ikea delivery, life quickly becomes a list of tasks. This makes it even more important to set aside time each week to call friends and family. Even if it’s only for half an hour while you’re exploring your new city, time spent reconnecting with home will help you settle and keep homesickness away.


Keep one of your devices on your home city’s time zone


Warning this could cause you to be late or early depending on where you’re from. But, if you consider yourself an organised individual, keeping one of your devices in your home time zone will help you feel less far away and more aware of what your friends and family will be doing at that time of the day. You can look at your phone and see that it's 6pm at home and therefore a good time to call your friend.


Keep a blog to share with people from home


Your friends and family back home will be your dedicated readers, enjoying catching up on your experiences in a new country. Instead of having to discuss all your latest developments with your nearest and dearest individually, you can share your story on one platform and keep in touch with everyone. A blog is also a great way to make new friends online and share tips that might help others. One day you might even enjoy reading back on your memoirs and seeing how you’ve changed over the course of your adventure.


Create an Instagram account to share your travel pictures and videos


The blog is where you describe your experiences while the Instagram account is where you visualise them. Posting pictures and videos is a great way to keep your loved ones up to date with what you’re doing, and vice versa. It’s also very easy to comment on stories and send messages to each other. Family and friends will love living life vicariously through you. Like the blog it will be fun to look back at all the memories you’ve made.

Schedule plans back home


Hopefully in the not too distant future you are going to return home. In anticipation make plans with friends and family… even if it’s a trip to the park in 6 months time, this will give you and your loved ones something to look forward to and realise that the distance isn’t forever – you’ll be hugging each other again soon.


This blog post was written by Overseasy intern Lizzy Patterson