How to Stay in Touch with Friends and Family When You Move
When it comes to moving away from friends and family, staying in touch with loved ones is hard work. It requires time, coordination and persistence, particularly while communicating with friends or family members that tend to “ghost” on you!
No matter how many miles separate you and your loved ones, there are a number of simple ways to stay in touch that don’t require too much time or effort on your part. Read on for a few high-tech and low-tech ways to stay connected – there’s something in here for everyone!
Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime – Take Your Pick
Video chat makes it easier than ever to feel connected to your loved ones. Set up a standing date to chat with old friends on Skype, Google Hangouts or FaceTime once a week or even once every couple of months. Better yet, set up a recurring calendar invite on Google Calendar so neither of you can pull the “I’m SO sorry I forgot!” line.
Leave a Voice Message (The New Way)
If formal check-in calls are too much of a time investment and texting feels too impersonal, try out voice messaging apps like Cord or HeyTell. These apps allow you to easily send short voice messages to friends and family members on-the-fly.
Set Up a Shared Folder
For any loved ones who aren’t on social media, you can still easily share videos and/or images via a number of cloud storage services. Since sharing large files over email can be bulky, consider opening up a Dropbox or Flickr account, or even create a shared folder on Google Drive. Alternatively, upload your videos to YouTube. Make the videos private, and you can invite your friends to join your channel as you see fit.
Facebook to the Rescue!
As impersonal as it may sound, staying connected with friends and family on Facebook or other social networks is a great way to stay involved in their lives. A friendly comment on one of their Facebook photos (think: “Wow – I can’t believe how big Kelly is getting! How are you guys?”) can easily spark a longer conversation about anything new that’s going on in their lives.
Send a “Thinking of You” Gift
Budget permitting, send a small “thinking of you” gift to special friends and family members. Something small and simple works best for this kind of thing – a candle, a holiday ornament, a small memento from a recent family vacation – so there isn’t any pressure for them to return the gesture. Tuck in a personal note with the gift to explain why you’re sending it. Think: “I came across this candle while window shopping the other day, and I immediately thought of you! Brought me right back to our kids baking gingerbread cookies together in your kitchen!”
Become Pen Pals
While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it never hurts to "get old school" and send an old-fashioned letter. Post a short note on Facebook to get feelers whether anyone would be interested.
And last but not least, stay committed to actually keeping in touch with your old friends. Sometimes, the old adage holds true – you’ll only get out as much as you put in!