It’s hard to leave and it’s hard to stay connected. But if you make an effort, you will have some success. I encourage you to share this information with friends and family. They need to know that it will be difficult for you. That you will miss them. And that it will make a big difference to you if they reach out to you after you’re gone.
Keep your old phone number. Port it to Google Voice
for free! When you get back home, you can port it back to a cell phone. Meanwhile, calls to your number will be forwarded to your current phone and you can stay in touch.
Make WiFi phone calls using WhatsApp (owned by Facebook)
, Skype (owned by Microsoft)
or Voice (aka Google Voice)
or other apps.
If you want privacy and encryption, look into the Signal app
Phone calls are cheap, pennies per minute to the US and elsewhere in the world. Just set up an account and put some money on your account.
Send emails with photos.
Arrange video calls over Skype, WhatsApp, etc.
Send texts and pictures by WhatsApp.
Post on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/
, SnapChat https://www.snapchat.com/
, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
… wherever your people are, whatever app they’re using, stay connected. Trends and popular apps change. Stay up to date. Stay connected.
Know that people change and it’s hard to stay connected over long distances. Plan visits in both directions, you go there, your friends or family come to visit you…
Share pictures of the exciting things from your new place. Build some buzz. And share your hard days too. Be human. Allow your friends to comfort you when you’re homesick.
I’d love to hear your solutions for staying connected with friends, family, fellow sports, nature, music lovers, adventurers, business connections and all when you move to another foreign country. Email me at email@example.com (“ch” stands for Confoederatio Helvetica aka Switzerland.)