2020 has been a year fueled by technology. And everyone from millennials to grandparents have learned how to use Zoom.
Whether your family is down the street or on the other side of the world, we’ve all been leaning on technology to feel close to home.
So when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family overseas, we’ve learned a few things along the way. Thanks to new apps and programs, you can effortlessly bridge the hours and miles that separate you from your loved ones.
Here are The 5 Best Ways to Keep In Touch With Family & Friends Overseas:
1. Update Your Apps
Chances are, you probably already know about Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and Skype. While those are all great apps, here are a few more sophisticated apps to consider adding to your smartphone arsenal:
This is the most popular messaging app around the world. With free international calling, compatibility with both iPhone and Android, plus the ability to use your Wi-Fi connection, WhatsApp provides maximum convenience at no cost.
Want to get all of your family and friends in the same conversation? Use GroupMe, one of the best group chat apps on the market. It’s especially useful if you have a big family or friend group and want to bring everybody together. In fact, you can have up to 200 people in the same group.
Like a private secretary for your personal relationships, Cloze consolidates information from all of your other apps and creates profiles for your closest friends and family. Once everything is aligned, Cloze will identify which people are most important to you and will gently remind you to reach out to your loved ones (your “Key People”).
2. Develop a Mailing List
Let’s face it: you’re overseas and multiple time zones away from your friends and family. Keeping up with loved ones won’t always be convenient, especially if you have a lot of relationships to sustain.
Consider making an email contact list to help stay connected.
It’s pretty simple (but very effective). Every few weeks, you would draft a newsletter to update your friends and families on your new life. Whether they are quick notes or long stories, your message will become far more personalized than social media posts while only demanding a bit more investment of your time.
Most email platforms, like Gmail, allow you to easily make an email contact list. If you’d like to go a step further, you can use MailChimp for free and send emails with cool templates to 2,000 people.
Once you make your MailChimp account, you can use your social media accounts to post a link to a Sign Up page. Your interested friends and families will then be on the receiving end of your personalized updates and newsletters.
3. Start a Blog
If you enjoy writing and want to share details of your adventure abroad, you could also consider starting a blog.
While emails provide a very direct experience for readers, a blog gives you the luxury of time. It allows you to reflect on stories and experiences that email and social media can’t fully accommodate.
While it certainly takes more creativity to write posts, your blog will function both as a way to include your loved ones and as a sort of online journal. If you’re the nostalgic type, you’ll enjoy having a blog to look back on years from now.
Want to get started? Here are a few great (free!) blogs to check out:
Weebly: This drag-and-drop website builder offers hundreds of beautiful templates to make your blog.
WordPress: You can make a 100%-free blog with cool themes in just a few quick clicks.
Medium: It’s popular, free, and easy to use.
4. Watch Movies Together
While you can always start a long-distance book club, we’d like to offer something slightly more exciting: watch movies and TV together!
With Netflix Party, the new Google Chrome extension, you can watch your favorite Netflix shows and movies with your loved ones around the world.
The five-step process is easy:
- Install Netflix Party to your internet browser
- Pin Netflix Party to your Google Chrome toolbar
- Open a Netflix video
- Create a Netflix Party
- Get some popcorn
It’s that easy! Click here to Install now!
5. Send Postcards & Letters
You didn’t think every tip would be reliant on technology, did you?
Postcards and letters are as old-fashioned as can be, but they are an amazing way to send your love back home.
While you don’t have to do it very often, a well-timed postcard will put a smile on your loved one’s faces. Why? Because unlike emails, it comes from a very real place—where you now live. It’s something you held, wrote on, and stamped yourself.
Take full advantage of what modern technology provides, but don’t forget the power and simplicity of a handwritten letter.
Send Your Love Home
Ultimately, nothing bridges long-distance like thoughtfulness. Whether you send emails, write postcards, or watch movies with loved ones, you’ll never regret letting your family know how much you miss them.
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