Here are a few ways to communicate, even if you are thousands of miles away. #KUWTK
For so many of us, travelling marks the end of our childhood and the beginning of adulthood (yikes).
Travelling to the airport with our worldly positions inside a massive backpack. Waving goodbye to Mum and Dad at the departure lounge. It can fill some with tremendous amounts of excitement, but for some, it’s a panicked “now swallow down the sick” kind of experience (sorry about that graphic image).
I bet you’ve heard a few of those right?
Yes, travelling is AMAZING. You can tick destinations off your bucket list and experience places, people and cultures that you have dreamt of for years! But for some, the idea of leaving friends and loved ones behind can be a difficult reality. A constant tsunami of ‘what ifs’ consume every positive thought as you begin to realise that maybe travelling isn’t for you.
STOP. RIGHT. THERE.
Park those negative thoughts elsewhere because I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT. You can travel the world and leave your loved ones behind; do you know why? *drum roll please*… DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY!
Thanks to digital forms of communication, we are able to stay connected with loved ones even if we are thousands of miles away. So it definitely shouldn’t stop you from following your dreams!
All Hail Skype, Facetime & The Front Camera
Skype is used by thousands of people, whether they are living abroad, travelling or connecting with a loved one a few miles away. It is compatible with phones and laptops, all you need is a webcam or a front camera and you’re set. The great thing about Skype is the camera feature, as you are able to see whoever you’re calling and vice-versa. Like many other apps, Skype relies on a strong Wifi connection and although video calls are free you can also make calls to landlines for a fraction of the cost (just in case you’re having a bad hair day and don’t want to be seen on camera).
Facetime is a MUST for me. As you can see, I have used it many a time to chat with friends whilst they’re abroad, or chat with family whilst I’m abroad! Although this app is only compatible with Apple products, it shares the same characteristics as Skype. Using Wifi the app will allow you to video call as well as an audio call (not landline call). If you have any question or queries regarding using Facetime abroad, click here!
Most importantly, they’re both free to use. So, therefore, whenever you want to speak to your family or friends they can be virtually in front of you before you know it! From past experience, Facetime really helped me whilst I was travelling. When I travelled to Bali, I Facetimed my sister to tell her about my first surf experience – she was ‘lucky’ enough to see my crazy looking salty hair, bloodshot eyes as well as the massive smile on my face! I felt like she was there with me and it instantly made me feel better even though she was over 12, 000 km away.
Instant Messaging Apps – Reply Now or Later
Messaging Apps are also a great form of digital communication that’ll help you stay connected with loved ones. Whether you choose to reply instantly or after a few days, messaging apps are an informal and easy way to communicate whilst on the go – you can also send photos from your hike or a video of an embarrassing friend dancing on a bar after one too many orange juices. Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also allow you to create group conversations/chats, this means that lots of you can be in touch at once rather than sending separate messages which could be very time-consuming. Whilst you’re travelling, you should take advantage of the fact that you are away from reality so why not have a break from technology every now again? With messaging, you can reply days, weeks, months later without the risk of messages/ photos being automatically deleted. Using instant messaging is great when you’re in different time zones as you may be unable to FaceTime or Skype because of the difference. These apps also have similar features to Skype and Facetime, as you will be able to see in the top right-hand corner of the screenshots below there is a phone symbol and a camera symbol which once clicked, allow you to speak instantly to friends via audio or camera call. Whilst I was away in New York and my friends were back at home it was an easy way to stay in touch as they would pick up my messages when they woke up and vice-versa, there weren’t any pressures of being available at a certain time.
Me: “I’m live Mum!” Mum: “You’re alive!?” Me: “No I’m L I V E”
For all of you that would rather embrace your inner diva when communicating with loved ones at home, digital platforms like Instagram and Facebook have introduced a new ‘Live’ feature on their apps. Baffling to some, but fun to others by clicking on the ‘Go Live’ feature people are quite literally able to go live. This example of digital communication is fairly new to us (first developed in 2015 by Facebook for celebrities and verified accounts) but is great in situations when you find yourself thousands of miles away and you’re absolutely DYING to show your Facebook followers the most incredible beach you have just stumbled upon or how great a band is that you have just discovered in an outback shack!
So, if you’re currently sat on your sofa, bed or toilet scrolling through Instagram looking at someone else’s photos from their trip to L.A., whilst thinking “Lucky bugger. I’d love to do that”…Then DO IT! I was apprehensive at first, travelling is a daunting prospect but I promise you if your main worry is missing family then please don’t let that stop you. There are so many forms of digital communication that you can use that can keep you up to date with your family friends, its like they’re there with you!
I hope you enjoy your next adventure, wherever you’re off to! Stay in touch but also take the time to look up from your phone/ laptop to enjoy the world around you.