If you’ve started a new life in the UK, you’ll know those little pangs of homesickness only too well – particularly as the dark nights start drawing in and the beautiful beaches back home seem literally a million miles away. But while we can’t do anything about the British weather, there are simple ways to stay in touch with the folks back home…
In a world where communication is nearly always instant, it seems a bit outdated to send a written letter that could take days – if not weeks – to get to its destination.
However, it offers a far more personal way of staying in touch than email does. There’s still something exciting and romantic about getting a letter through the post – just as long as it’s not a bill.
With the advent of the all-singing, all-dancing, all-knowing and all-picture-taking smartphone, it’s easy to forget that a phone’s primary function is to speak to people who aren’t in your immediate company.
While calls to other countries can be expensive, you can make cheap calls to Australia for as little as 0.5p per minute. With a landline, there are access codes that you can dial to get cheap calls to Australia for as little as 0.5p per minute or to for only 1p per minute.
Of the many online access code providers, CheapCalls.co.uk is the longest standing. They don’t require you to sign up or change telephone provider; you just get the relevant code from their website, call from your landline and get billed in the usual way. And this way, you actually get to tell your friends and relatives what you’re up to, instead of relying on words and pictures.
Pretty much everyone has a personal email account these days. It’s become a standard way to stay in touch with people, whether in a personal or business context. You get to write about your experiences without having to worry about a character count (as you would with text messages or a micro-blogging service like Twitter). You can also easily attach or insert videos and photos send them to either one recipient or a group of people, to save retelling the same story over and over. And if you use services like Hotmail or Gmail you get free cloud-based storage and a free instant messaging service too.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have become staples of online social engagement. They offer another free way to stay in touch with people based worlds away from each other. As with email, you can upload videos, photos or use an instant messaging service for more immediate two-way conversations.
Another internet-based communication network is Skype, which offers free internet voice or video calls between those that are signed up to the network.