Dizzy Miss James - A Travel / Food/ Lifestyle Blog


12 Sep 2017

Stay In Touch With Your Roots Even When You're Abroad

Digital technology has transformed virtually every aspect of our lives. Few of us could have imagined twenty years ago (if you’re old enough to remember) what a difference it would make to the simple things in life, like staying in touch with people abroad. But the communication revolution has totally transformed our world, meaning that even when you go away for a year to the remotest parts of the planet, you can still stay in touch with your roots. 
It wasn’t always like this, of course. In the past, if you wanted to phone home - and phoning was usually the only method of communication - you had to find a payphone, load it up with plenty of credit, and enjoy perhaps a five-minute conversation with a loved one. Today, though, communicating while on vacation is either very cheap or totally free.

Here are some of the ways technology allows you to stay in touch while you’re abroad. 

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Blogging about one’s adventures while traveling was once a really niche activity. But thanks to Wordpress, Blogger and other tools, telling people about your travels is easier than ever. You can set up a blog for free and post text, pictures, and videos of your experiences for all to see. What’s more, it gives you the time and space you need to communicate effectively, without having to think up everything on the spot during a phone call. What’s more, it gives you a kind of permanent record of your experiences. 

Low Bandwidth Communication Apps 

Not only do blogs contain photos, but they also document your emotional experience and provide context. Skype, Zoom and other live video streaming apps are all well and good for keeping in touch if you travel to a developed country with 3G or better connectivity. But what if you’re on a gap year or a career break in the Amazon rainforest or the Mongolian steppes? How do you stay in contact then? 

Quite easily, actually. Today there are apps, like Viber, which work similarly to Skype but skip the video. In other words, you get all the same functionality as Skype, but your bandwidth requirements aren’t nearly as high. You can do things like voice calls, send texts and send images and the system works on practically every platform, including Android, Apple, and Blackberry.

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Postcard Apps

There’s nothing quite like receiving a physical postcard from somebody you love abroad. If you’re in a tourist hotspot, picking one up is usually pretty simple. But if you’re in the middle of nowhere, or well off the beaten track, it might be a bit more challenging. A postcard app, however, can solve this problem. Rather than having to go and find an actual postcard, postcard apps allow you to specify what message you want to send on the back of a card and then instruct somebody to send it out on your behalf. No more looking around for tourist shops - you can send a card straight from your phone. 


Two apps, iMessage, and Facetime are great companions for owners of Apple and Android devices. They allow you to call whoever you want from your laptop or cell phone, giving you a chance to both see and hear your family, no matter where you might be. Facetime and iMessage are ideal for people who know they’re going to be away for the holiday season, allowing people to stay in touch for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Easter and other events in the calendar. 

Create A Call Schedule 

If you’re in a different time zone, it can be a challenge to stay in touch, especially when the difference is more than 9 hours. But organizing a schedule with loved ones and setting aside specific communication slots can really help. If you miss a slot or the call doesn’t connect straight away, send a message immediately saying that you’re trying again. 


Communicating about your travels isn’t all about picking up the phone and having a conversation. It’s also about showing people what you’ve been doing and who you’ve met. Data services, like Dropbox, are perfect for this kind of thing. You could upload all sorts of things to the cloud to show people what you've been up to on your trip, including photos and music you’ve heard. You can also use Dropbox to keep family updated on your activities if it’s nighttime where they live. Dropbox gives users 2GB of data for free - plenty for photos and sound files. You can also get access to more space if you get a friend to sign up to the platform.


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