Relatives abroad and the pandemic

Now that Christmas is gone, winter is still here and the travel restrictions keep changing :exploding_head: I thought it would be nice to share ideas on how to stay connected with family living abroad and far away from us.

A lot of us have family in different corners of the world and in the last years, it has been incredibly difficult to travel and visit them and stay connected. Personally, I was always worried about traveling abroad: what if rules change while I am abroad? What will happen to work if I am stuck abroad? What if I bring covid with me? Is it safe to travel now?

I found it very hard to stay connected with family virtually because our lives are always so busy with work, hobbies, friends, gym, etc… Plus working virtually, adding more screen time is not very appealing.

Did anyone share a similar experience? Any tips or ideas on how to cope and how to improve this connection with family? I tried going old-school and writing postcards, which my family really appreciated.

Let me know your experience :blush:

1 Like


I hope you had a lovely festive period! It sounds really tricky staying connected with family while you’re working from home and when there’s a lot of distance in between! I think this is really relatable and lots of people may be going through similar experiences.

The postcards sound like a great idea, how did you find that? Glad to hear your family appreciated them.

Something I have found helpful is calling my family and friends, but whilst taking a walk outdoors with my earphones plugged in after work or on the weekends. This really helped me to limit screen time but also got me away from my desk and breathing in the fresh air, just felt like a nice catch-up really!

Hope this helps.

Such a great idea, @Sabeeha, thank you! Going out for a walk, maybe in a park, while calling family and friends can really help get away from the desk and get some exercise as well.

1 Like

Happy New Year @Giu! I love the idea of sending postcards - I would always appreciate a handwritten note from someone who is spending time abroad.

When I have had friends and family spending time away from home, we would often find a time to remotely ‘watch’ the same TV programme or film together via FaceTime. As someone who finds talking on the phone for long periods quite tiring, I always found this a nice thing to do to remain feeling connected to the person who is away :computer:.

This is such a great idea, @Ella, I never thought of watching something together. I will give it a go! Thank you!

Hi @Giu Welcome to the community!

This is such an important and interesting issue, especially as travel restrictions change quickly with COVID.

I am rather with @Sabeeha that as our work now involves so much screentime, another Zoom call no longer has much attraction, and it is so hard, even now, to work out how to manage taking turns to speak. So I’m quite keen on voice calls to mix up my digital diet, and although my family are based in the UK, I found that using the Alexa App on my phone, allowed me to make really good ‘speakerphone’ calls to Echo devices. There may be other ways to do that, as data and devices aren’t always available.

The post-card though is genius, and much better than yet another meme! We really enjoyed sending and receiving Christmas cards at Christmas, and somehow it was so much more interesting and relaxing than another call, though, ironically, it nudged us to talk with people we hadn’t been in touch with for a while.


Couldn’t help but remember this.

So many times in recent years when being apart has just been really hard to bear.

Thinking of everyone who is in that situation at the moment.

1 Like