One of the hardest things, if not THE hardest thing, about migrating is being so far from friends and family.
Moving to Australia is often particularly difficult due to the time difference across the country and this makes communication with friends and family in South Africa quite tricky. The time difference between Perth and South Africa is 6 hours which is a lot more manageable than the eastern states.
Luckily, with modern technology, keeping in touch with everyone is far easier than just a decade ago. When I first moved to the UK I used to phone my family once a week on a Sunday evening from my landline for maybe 5 or 10 minutes due to the exorbitant cost! These days I can use minutes from my phone contract and never worry it’s going to cost me a cent over what I pay for my monthly contract or better yet, video call them for free!
Besides calling on a phone, there are 4 apps I find essential for communicating with all our far flung friends and family, so in no particular order here they are.
Without a doubt the best option for video chat if both you and the other party have an iPad or iPhone is FaceTime. I find the connection is often the best and clearest and this is my go to video calling app. It comes standard with all iPads and iPhones so you don’t even have to download it!
If you don’t have an iPad or iPhone the other great video calling app is Skype. Skype makes it easy for you to add all your Skype contacts and see who is online before you even call. You can also type messages or just have voice calls, which is handy when your connection is too poor for video calling.
A popular choice of messaging these days is Whatsapp. It uses your WiFi connection so if you are accessing the internet via WiFi and wanting to avoid paying for texts, especially while overseas, this is the app for you. You can also make voice calls using the WiFi and send instant voice messages which I love!
4. Facebook Messenger
The new kid on the block when it comes to communication apps, Facebook Messanger got a lot of stick when it first launched but it’s fast becoming a popular option for communicating with people all over the world. With Facebook allowing you to keep in touch with so many more people than we could before, it’s so easy to use Facebook Messanger. You can also make voice and video calls to your Facebook friends and I love the new gifs you can send too.
So there you have my essential list of communication apps for when you migrate. What apps do you use to keep in touch with your family and friends around the world?