There are so many advantages to going to live abroad. Like discovering a new country, learning about a new culture, tasting good food and making new friends, but there are also disadvantages and being far away from friends and family is one of them. But in this day and age where technology is available and ready to help, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with our loved ones while living in another country. Plus, I have some tips on how to handle being away from friends and family.
use social media
It’s important for your family and friends to see that you are well and enjoying this adventure. So post those pictures on Instagram, tell them how it’s going on Facebook, Tweet about your upcoming adventures. Seeing you active on Social Media will help reassure your family and maybe even help some of them who didn’t really understand why you left in the first place see why it was important to you. Trust me, if they follow you on Social Media, they want to know what you are up to, so don’t be scared to post every once in a while. (Just maybe not every two seconds) You can also use Social Media to stay involved in your friends’ lives. Maybe your schedules and time difference don’t allow you to talk as much as you would like, but you can still see what they are up to, congratulate them on accomplishments, or even help during hard times. While I don’t like spending a lot of time on Social Media while I am traveling, I try to check it at least every few days to update everyone on my travel plans and to make sure I haven’t missed an important event.
Plan skype or facetime dates
Especially if you are on different time zones, finding a moment to talk to your friends and family can be complicated. We all have full schedules and a hundred things to do so it’s important to plan ahead. That way you can schedule this time and make sure you are available. Think of it like a coffee date. I schedule my appointments and dates with friends when I am back home, so why not do it when I am away? This time is just as important, if not more when you are traveling. Depending on how close you are with your friends and family, you can schedule this time for every week or every couple of weeks or even every few days if you both need it!
don't miss out on living
The truth is, your family and friends are still living their lives while you are gone and it’s a good thing they are! So why wouldn’t you! Don’t miss out on special occasions or fun adventures because you miss your loved ones back home. You will see them again! And while it is important to stay in touch and not to forget them, you are here, in this special place, where so much is happening, for a short period of time and you will regret all the opportunities you didn’t take when you go back home. Trust me, your friends will understand if you have to reschedule a phone call or skype date, it happens! Just don’t completely shut them out or forget to tell them you are not available.
try to do something special for them on special occasions
Missing an important birthday, your friends’ engagement or a special occasion always makes you feel so much further away, but you can do your best to be there even if it’s just in thought. You can try to make an appearance through live cam or send a special gift or message. I remember while I was living in Florida for the first summer and missed my sister’s 18th birthday. It made me feel so bad that I was missing this important moment in her life that I tried to make it up to her by going around the Disney parks to get the characters to wish her a happy birthday. I sent her this cute video of all the characters and I, and even though I couldn’t celebrate with her, at least she knew I was thinking about her.
I think the important part when living abroad is to find some balance. Some times, it can feel like you have two lives: one at home and one where you live now and it can be complicated to find time for both without forgetting about one of them. Just make sure you are there for your friends and family and talk to them regularly, but still live this new life fully and enjoy every moment while you can.
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