Somehow, our world seems to expand every year. Our networks get bigger and wider, with friends and family dotted around the globe. While it’s really cool to have friends in Argentina and cousins in Norway (hello free places to stay when we travel!), that can also mean it becomes increasingly difficult to keep in touch with those whom we love.
And when we move abroad – for love or job opportunities or adventure – we only make things more difficult. Sure, we are gaining wonderful new experiences, but we are also getting further (and extra time zones) away from the people who make life worth living. But there is another bright point to the fact that the world is really and truly becoming more globalised: it is so much easier to actually stay in touch. So long as you put in the effort.
In order to keep up with our meaningful connections, we simply have to be conscious and deliberate with communication. Here are the very best ways to stay in touch wherever, whenever.
1. Embrace technology. It used to be crazy expensive to have long-distance phone calls or send text messages abroad. Thankfully, there are so many apps and functions of our phones that make this all easy peasy and cheap! Whatsapp is one of the easiest ones, as it is free and available on multiple devices. You can call and text for free with Whatsapp. And if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, it won’t even eat up any of your data. Facebook messenger or iMessage are also great tools for staying in touch if you don’t have Whatsapp.
2. Plan your phone dates. If you don’t actually schedule good, old-fashioned catch-up sessions into your diary as you would a workout or an important meeting, you’re unlikely to actually have the catch-up. Busy jobs, conflicting time zones and full social calendars will no longer get in the way. Plan in advance!
3. Do a little research. Airlines like KLM have sales and deals weeks multiple times a year that make travel much more affordable, even if the ones you want to visit are incredibly far away. Find out when these are happening and book those tickets! You won’t regret going home, particularly if it doesn’t break the bank. If you’d like to get an even better deal, look into switching to a credit card that gives you miles when you spend on your regular purchases (trips to the Albert Heijn or even all those juices!). That way, you can build up enough miles just by living your life that you can go for free.
4. Meet in the middle. Luckily, there are so many cool, exciting and view-expanding places that are out there. If anyone you want to stay in contact with is adventurous (and as excited to see you as you are them), then there’s nothing better than planning fun trips to meet each other abroad. If you’re here in Amsterdam and your high school best friend is in New York, why not meet in Iceland for a long weekend? Does your brother work in Senegal? What about a trip to Morocco for a week of exploration? Truly, the world is your oyster!