Be proactive, do not expect someone to come to you!
Being a multicultural family, our family and friends are mostly around the world; we try to maintain a close relationship with them no matter where we are. However, it is challenging to create a “meaningful connection” half a world apart.
We asked ourselves questions like how to stay in touch with our parents and siblings in Brazil and Taiwan? How to help my children to build a close and healthy relationship with them?
We try to use the same attitude to expand our social support system in Barcelona, there are many ways we can stay connected, but the most critical part of this process is being proactive.
A smartphone is a great tool !!
- Video Calling: Start a video call or FaceTime to share your days. Parents and friends always want to hear from you. The benefit of video calling is you can have multiple people chatting at the same time for free in some cases, so that you can also see the faces of people you love!
- Audio Message: Drop a simple audio message if you would like to share an exciting story but a little bit too lengthy to type out the entire story! Audio messaging is an excellent way for “sharing an exciting quick story” I always love to hear the energy through the message.
- WhatsApp: Create a WhatsApp group to share some videos, pictures, and simple text regularly. Whatsapp is free, it has both voice call and video calling functions, it has an end-to-end encryption feature, which makes your WhatsApp communication highly secure.
Share Your Life
There are parts of the family and friends that you wish to stay connected to, but in reality, it is difficult to get in touch one by one on a frequent base.
- Social media: Using social media is a great method to stay in touch with this group of family and friends. You can update your life. People often drop by and comment on the post, and you can use the opportunity to have a little chat to catch up.
- Blogs: Blogging is another excellent way to stay connected and also allow you to document the family experience, and this is one of the reasons I started blogging after moving to Spain.
Old Fashion Connection!
Sending postcards to friends, family, or loved ones is a great way to show affection. When we first moved to Spain, we had a small activity to mail a few postcards to family and friends, informing them we are well and attached to a new address. During Christmas, we mail out family Christmas cards to celebrate with our families around the world as well.
Plan To Meet
The truths are there is always a limitation when connecting through electronic devices! Face-to-face relationships are irreplaceable. The real relationship often builds from spending quality time and engaging emotions between parties.
To help our children grow up feeling connected with our extended family members. As parents of two multicultural kids, we ensure putting enough effort into creating quality time with the family. In other words, we have an annual plan and travel budget arranged to see family and friends.
Feel free to discuss when to meet with family and friends again, and this way can help you to keep in mind when planning the trip and look forward to seeing them.