Today more people live away from their place of birth than ever before. This means that many people don’t live in the same city or even country as their family. This is an opportunity that modern life has offered to many people that simply was not available to past generations. The idea that you could fly to the other side of the world and set up a life there was not an easy decision many years ago. Today you can make this giant leap for a year or for life on a whim. While this can provide a lifetime of adventure it can also cause you to miss your family. Here are the best ways to keep in touch and ensure you don’t miss out on important moments in their lives.
Don’t beat yourself up
The first and most important thing is not to be too hard on yourself for living away from home. It is your life and you have to make these big decisions for yourself. The reality is that if you lived close to your family you would still be busy and likely wouldn’t be able to see them that often. When I moved away from home I ended up in contact with my family more than ever before.
Regular video chats
Make a video call a part of your routine. When we move away we tend to jump on a video call a lot but as time goes on we start to do it less and less, life takes over. Make a video call a key part of your fortnightly routine to ensure that you get to catch up with your family face to face. Sitting down like this without a clear discussion point will allow you to catch up on many things that they would otherwise forget to mention.
Thanks to apps like Viber and Whatsapp as well as Facebook Messenger group chats have become more and more popular. I have a group chat for my immediate family, my siblings, and my wider family. Having all of these access points makes it easy for me to comment on something funny or share a photo throughout the week. These little touchpoints ensure you are always in contact with those that matter most.
Sometimes you can start to dread the idea of another family chat. You have no news, they have no news, and you can only talk about the weather for so long. Instead, take the opportunity to play games with them on the call. There are many great games that work well over video. We saw during the pandemic that quizzes work well but there are many fun board games you can try too. One of our favorites is a game called ‘Confident’ where you must answers questions with a range based on how confident you are on an answer.
When I first moved away from my family the process to send and receive gifts was incredibly difficult. Packages would take weeks or months to deliver and would never arrive in time for a big occasion. Christmas and birthdays were still great but there was always that awkward explanation of “it could be a few weeks until your gift arrives, but it is coming”. Thanks to things like Amazon Prime and the boom in online shopping this is now a thing of the past. You can do all your shopping online and ensure you can still get great gifts for the entire family. Recently I send my mother two books for no reason at all. It wasn’t a special occasion but I just wanted to show that I was thinking of her.
The important thing when moving away from home is to continue to prioritize your time with family. Family is a huge part of life and just because you live somewhere else does not mean you should take a back seat in family stuff. Instead, take the lead and start to set up numerous communications in different forms to ensure you are always on their mind.