This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
Let’s be honest. It’s not always easy to keep in touch with friends and family when you’re traveling. It’s not that you don’t want to know what’s going on back home, to be there for your friends when they need your support, or to hear your nephew’s voice as he animatedly tells about his baseball games. But with chaotic time zones and once-in-a-lifetime sites to see, it can be all too easy to brush off those relationships that really do mean so much to you.
We won’t say it gets easier to balance relationships with travel, but there are at least a few tangible steps you can take.
Schedule Concrete Catch-Ups
It’s all too easy to say, “Let’s talk soon” and not actually do not. Rather than setting loose promises like ‘next week’ or ‘before I leave’, try making dates to talk on Tuesday at 3pm. It’s not always easy, especially if you’re like us and Tuesday at 3pm could find you white water rafting or mountain biking. But by setting up these dates, you will at least have a time to work around.
Use The Internet
We live in a tech-savvy world; never has it been so easy to stay connected with Wi-Fi. Even in the most remote of places, there is normally somewhere with an Internet café nearby. Use things like free online calling to maximize your budget and talk time.
Consider a Phone Plan
Sometimes it’s just not convenient – or safe – to pull out your laptop to have a conversation. For times like this, consider carrying a cell phone with you. Because people all around the world have iPhones and the works, it’s possible to find cheap international call rates. If you’re a multi-tasker like me, this can be the perfect way to find out about your best friend’s dating life while still discovering the best shopping in town.
Everyone’s always busy. Your friends and family will likely understand if you’re not around on the drop of a hat to talk. But nothing says you’re still thinking about them like sending a surprise postcard. It’s a small and thoughtful gesture, but also a great way to tell your family what’s going on in your life. And who doesn’t love getting mail?
Keep a Blog
If you’re a real social butterfly, consider keeping a blog. That way, even if you don’t have time to keep up with each and every one of your friends during your travels, they all know about your elephant rides and night market rendezvous. Encourage your friends to leave comments on the blog so you can keep the conversation going on both sides.
And on that note, you tell us! What do you do to keep in touch on your travels?