New Ways To Connect With Your Family Abroad

Moving away to another country for work or for a new life is the reality for many people in the United States. America is the land of opportunity and getting there is a means to helping family back home. But somewhere along the line, the communication links start to fade. People get caught up in their own lives. People become bogged down by the minute of everyday life. It’s often the case that when someone comes here to better themselves and their family, the only communication becomes a check every first and fifteenth of the month. Fortunately for us, with modern technology, this all-too-familiar story can be remedied. There are so many avenues to connect or reconnect with family abroad without having to sacrifice too much of your time in the demanding and work-enamored American culture. It’s imperative that you maintain that relationship with your people back home. One risks seeming out of touch. It may be an inevitability in some respects, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tend to your roots back home. 

Here are some new and creative ways to connect with family abroad. 

Telephone solutions

First thing’s first: call your grandma. If you have grandparents abroad, keeping in touch with them not only makes them happy, but it also gives you a unique perspective from an older generation. Their opinions and insights may clash with your current, modern ones, but that’s the beauty of listening. There’s a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to learn from by talking to your elders. Now, more likely than not, your grandparents don’t have the latest smartphone with video call capabilities. If they’re like most, they’ve got a regular old phone. If you’re trying to figure out how to call Mexico from the US., there are definitely better options than bodega calling cards. Services online can give you access to landlines and cell phones abroad for a fraction of the cost. The best part is, you can use your modern smart phone to do so. You don’t need to try and find a landline. 

Start a blog 

When one leaves for America, they leave behind friends and family they grew up with. It’s hard. There are lots of tears and goodbyes. But thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to keep radio silence. In fact, you don’t even need to give the awkward and repetitive small-talk. You can connect another way: with a blog. Making a blog and filling it with content gives people an opportunity to see in your daily life. You should get your friends and family abroad to start one too. Stay up to date with their happenings and ideas and you’ll never have to keep going back to small-talk again. The only thing you need to be aware of is your older family members may be followed, as well. And if they’re conservative, you might get a short lecture during your next talk. 

Start a friendly cross-border competition 

A new favorite among siblings and childhood friends is a cross-border competition. This works especially if you have people your own age, you keep in touch with. It’s a great way to stay in shape and encourage your friends back home to do so, as well. Keep it simple and attainable. You don’t want to do anything crazy. Set a date and duration, like: “October” and see who can run the most miles. Or see who can finish the most books in that same amount of time. A bit of healthy competition is a tremendous way to keep in touch. Just make sure you’re still friends after it’s over. 

Video chat 

The undisputed king of modern communication is video chat. Most social media apps have their own form of video, but for calling abroad, you’ve got to make sure the person on the other side has good enough internet. Plan out your call. See if your family members can go to a coffee shop. If not, give a few bucks for some quality pre-paid internet is well worth it. Also, be wary of time zones. Once you have all of the details set up, set the time and call away.

Being away from family may be hard. It’s the hardest thing some of us have had to do. But in this day and age, we have no reason to not keep in touch with our family and friends back home. We’re lucky, in that sense. Previous generations didn’t have this kind of connection. Nowadays we can be across the world and still be up to date with him. It really is a wonderful thing. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.