How to Keep in Touch When Your Family Lives Far AwayHow to Keep in Touch When Your Family Lives Far Away

People nowadays aren’t always close to their loved ones, distance wise, that is. Sometimes people move abroad for different opportunities or some jet off for work reasons. Family is important, but globalization has moved people around a bit more and that means you might not see your family as often as you’d like.

What’s a loving grandparent to do when their intrepid granddaughter decides to go teach English in Asia? Or their curious grandson moves to Costa Rica to be a dive instructor?

Don’t think you’ll only see them when they come home for the holidays (if they can) or hear from them when they send a postcard. There are other ways to make sure you see their bright smile and hear about their adventures. It will be a team effort, but well worth it. Here are some options for you to better keep in touch with your family that’s far away.

Get Digital

It’s a good thing we live in a digital world. Sure, it has its downfalls, like when the kids are at the dinner table and can’t stop staring at their phones, but its advantages have become essential to our daily lives. So just give in to the digital age, and use it to keep in touch. Here are the best applications for your computer or phone to make sure you see a smiling face or get to read a sweet text from your faraway loved one.

  • Skype: Download this on your computer or phone. It’s a FREE way to either text or video chat with anyone around the world. You can even use it to call a number if the other person hasn’t downloaded the application yet.
  • What’s App: This app allows you to text and call. It’s also free and uses your Wi-Fi connection.
  • LINE: This is yet another app for texting and chatting your faraway friend or family member for absolutely no cost at all.
  • Email: Definitely the least personable way of contacting the other person, but it comes in handy for those who can’t match up their time zones and still want to keep in touch.
  • Social Media: That Facebook thing definitely helps people keep in touch! It’s not hard to use, and will be worth it when you get to wake up to a news feed full of pictures and comments from your family member.

Time for a Visit

Most people try to take a vacation each year, so why not vacation together? Make it a point to visit each other, or better yet, meet somewhere you both have been itching to get to. Perhaps you live in the USA and your dearly-missed family member lives in Thailand. Why not meet up in Italy and gorge yourself on gelato and pizza together? It will mean a lot to experience a new place together, and both people are putting in the money and effort to make the meet up happen.

If you are interested in the place where your distant family member lives, why not make your visit there? How special would it be for them to show you around and be your own personal tour guide? It’s very exciting and an excellent way to really see how our family member lives.

Anytime, Anywhere

All of the above are great ways to keep in touch. No matter how old or young you are, our lives are only increasingly busier and days are fuller. So what to do? If you add on a time zone difference, it will sometimes feel like it’s nearly an impossible feat to ever get to see and speak to the other person!

The solution can be starting a small blog. It doesn’t have to be fancy or cost any money. Most sites make it very simple to do, and this way you can always be kept up to date. Did you just have a lovely day with your friends at a park with a picnic and a game of badminton? Perfect. Upload a few pictures, write a short synopsis, and boom! You instantly can share your day with your family. This doesn’t only mean you can share it with your distant family member, but anyone you want. It also becomes a bit of a journal for yourself, so starting a blog can serve multiple purposes. The other family member should also start their own so you can exchange stories.

There’s nothing wrong with a postcard or a letter sent through snail mail, but with all these options on the table, it’s hard to make an excuse to not see and hear from each other more!

How do you keep in touch with your distant family members? Share your experience in the comments.

Senior Advisor's knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.

1 Comment

  1. Glen Goldsmith April 24, 2017 Reply

    We recently bought a grandPad for my father-in-law at – it’s a tablet specifically designed for senior citizens. He has been loving it so far! We were able to remotely setup up all his information and contacts, so he could start calling and emailing people within minutes of the grandPad’s arrival. The day their tablet arrived, my father-in-law was able to do a video chat with his son in Europe and it was the 1st time he had seen him “live” in over 4 years! Neither of my in-laws are very tech savvy, so the grandPad is a perfect way for them to email people or even do live video calls. We can all communicate with them frequently and send them real-time photos of what is happening in our lives. When we are traveling or find something we think they would like (old trains, unique fashions, etc.) we snap a picture and send it to them. We went away this past weekend and were able to keep them updated about our travels by sending pictures throughout the trip.

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