One of the hardest things about being overseas, is being away from friends and family. Because all my friends and family back home are in the UK, we’re almost on exactly opposite time schedules. When I’m getting up, they’re going to sleep and vice versa. It can make it a nightmare for organising phone calls or keeping in touch. There are a few little tips and tricks I use to make it easier to keep in contact:

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1) Emails
The great thing about emails is you can send them any time, for basically nothing. All you need is an internet connection. Sometimes I send personalised emails to individual family members, other times I do a big round up. It depends on what I am talking about and how personal it is.

2) Viber
I downloaded Viber before I left home and I use it daily. You can see free “text messages” and make free calls, so long as you are within your WIFI range or you have spare data. This is so, so much cheaper than sending international text messages.

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3) Skype
This is probably my favourite because it means I can see the faces of those I miss most. Sometimes I find it really hard to organise a time that works for everyone, so I usually leave this for special occasions or weekend chats. Recently I found the Skype app and have been using it on my phone which does make it easier to find a time that works for everyone.

4) Facebook
I have a love and hate relationship with Facebook, but you have to admit it’s pretty helpful. It’s so handy being able to upload a bunch of photos and whoever’s interested can have a look through. Sometimes I find it a bit hard missing out on family and friend’s special occasions, such as weddings so it’s really nice to be able to look at the photos even though I’m half way around the world.

Do you have any tips for keeping in touch while you’re away from home?

 

Photo Credit: Kim,  Nigel Howe and Richard Taylor