When I first moved to Delaware, I was nervous about leaving my friends. I was going to go from seeing them every day to seeing them only every so often and I knew I would miss them. Since, I know I am not the only person who misses her tribe, especially during the holidays, I’d like to share five tips (outside of letters, emails, texts and phone calls) for how to keep in touch with loved ones who are far away.
Keeping in touch with friends and family will help you stay positive about your move. Here are my tips:
Facebook: I’m not really a huge fan of this social networking site, but it is great for keeping in touch. You can send private messages, share funny videos, or use Facebook chat to speak directly. There is even a video call capability through the chat that works like Skype (see below).
Skype/Face Time: I love both of these options. You can download Skype for free onto your computer and video chat with your friends from anywhere in the world.
Face Time works through Wi-Fi on your smartphone so there are typically no international charges when you use it. My best friend is living in Thailand right now and we have been able to chat often using Face Time. Sometimes we even forget how far apart we really are!
Oovoo is also worth looking into. It’s free to download, works just like Skype, but you can video chat with up to 12 people at once. I’ve spent hours catching up with a group of my friends using this tool and it was as if we were all together in the same room. I love this for a virtual holiday party (everyone brings their own cocktail!).
*As a side note, it really helps to try and agree upon specific times when you and your friends can video chat. This way, you set aside time to talk and don’t play phone tag trying to catch each other. It will become a routine whether it’s once a week, once twice a month, or whatever works for you.
Online Photo Albums: If you aren’t a fan of uploading your pictures onto Facebook (I don’t blame you), why not set up a different kind of online photo sharing account like Flickr, or Snap Fish? You and your friends can share photos with each other and print from each other’s accounts.
Blog: Sometimes, it’s hard to schedule a time to chat and catch up. But a blog is a great way to keep each other updated. My friend who moved to Thailand is blogging about her new life and it’s a great way for me and the rest of her friends and family to stay up to date on her experiences.
Plan get togethers: Depending on the distance, it may be feasible for you and your friends to plan trips to visit each other. Even if the trip is planned months in advance, it’s something you can look forward to and plan together. Since I moved from New York, a visit to or from my friends is only a few hours in the car – even less on the train. We take turns visiting each other and we try to do something different each time.
Remember, always be positive. Moving does not have to be a killer of relationships – it just means that you have to put a little more work into them. There are tons of fun ways to stay in touch with friends and family. Whether you’re moving to the next town or half a world away, you can still talk on a regular basis and be involved in each other’s lives.
If you have been missing your loved ones or if you are feeling disconnected, reach out and make a plan. ‘Tis the season, after all!