support your family members while living abroad

How to Support Your Family Members While Living Abroad

It’s a widespread phenomenon for people to move abroad for work. But, whether it’s a permanent migration or a temporary assignment, one of the most challenging parts is leaving your family behind. Here are five ways you can support your family members, even when you are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

1. Communication Is Essential

Open communication is one of the best ways to support your family from abroad. This can get tricky with time differences and busy schedules; however, a wide variety of messaging apps are available that allow you to send videos, voice messages, or texts. Your family members can read these at any time, and they can respond when they have time.

Even a video chat once a week or once a month is better than nothing. Sometimes all people need to feel loved and supported in whatever is going on is to see and talk to someone they love.

2. Set Expectations

Before you leave, investigate the time differences and your schedule and let family members know what times of day you would be available to message or talk. That way, they don’t send you messages at 3 am and start calling because they’re worried you’re not responding.

It’s also important to talk about financial expectations. Many people leave their home country to work and send money to their families. Whether you are planning to send money to Mexico, Vietnam or Canada, check this link, and you should establish how much and how often you can do so.

Start on the lower end of the spectrum, and if you end up being able to send more, that’s a bonus! However, be careful not to promise so much that you have difficulty paying your housing, food, and utility bills.

3. Plan Holidays With Them

Another great way to feel close to family is to take time on holidays to schedule a time to spend part of the day with them. If it’s financially possible for you, plan a flight home to see them. You can even make it a surprise!

If you aren’t able to fly or visit home, plan a video call with your family. You may not be able to eat the food, but you can play games together, watch shows, talk, and share your experiences while living in another part of the country. For example, you could share your new country’s customs and traditional foods while your family reminds you of your traditions. This is a great way to help close the distance between you on the holidays.

It’s About Time

While it can be difficult while living abroad, the best way to support your family is always to share your time with them. Be it through messages, video calls or letters, they will cherish their time with you and feel closer than if there was no communication.

Also, whether you can send them money consistently or only on special occasions, they will know that you are always thinking of them and are worried about their wellbeing.

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