Contributed by Tina Relampagos
For some, it is a willful choice, an adventure. The different lifestyle and culture makes them feel more fulfilled, more experienced. For some, it is a bitter-sweet reward for a soaring career. And there are those who don’t have much of a choice. Their families need more than we make that we need to find more difficult but more financially rewarding opportunities elsewhere.
But being away from your own home is never easy. Never. Easy. No matter how well you’ve made a life elsewhere, there is no right surrogate for your closest friends and loved ones back home. This Holiday season, nothing should stop you from keeping in touch with them, so let us help you be thoughtful in new ways using familiar tools.
You have work Viber groups. You have friends Viber groups. Heck, you even have Viber groups with people you barely know. So why not have a Viber group for the entire family? It keeps people updated on all the interesting and mundane things you do.
Thoughtful TIP: Share a picture of when you dropped off your daughter to school, or your son’s recital where they all would’ve attended if they were there. Send them a message simply telling them that you just got off the tram or that you’re cooking tinola for dinner. The fun part, you can even annoy each other 24/7!
Remind your special someone that you haven't forgotten about him or her, not one bit because you're in for a lot of trouble if you do. Take pictures of meaningful items that remind you of your significant other. It can be as simple as her favorite pasta, a dog with the same breed as his own, gelato flavor you both share (getting cheesy here). It can also be as inspiring as the complex you plan to live in or that new Jeep he is dying to have.
Thoughtful TIP: Be brave about it and send it via Instagram for the world to see. It may be overwhelming at first but your special someone will be floored with your sweetness.
Facebook is all about videos now! Get in the bandwagon and record yourself on a regular day. Why? To give your friends and family a glimpse of how your life is like. Don't just do it with a selfie, that’s so last year.
Thoughtful TIP: Talk to them as if they're there. Show them where you walk to work, a 360° view of your favorite cafe, or the Sunday park scenery.
Amidst the never-ending posts on social media, the intimacy of a well-thought email stands out. Sometimes, there are things we want to say that needs a little time to put together. Sometimes, there are things we've been meaning to say but haven't had the guts to do so. For these times, the email is your best source when you are overseas.
Thoughtful TIP: Add some pictures and GIF’s to the email as if you’re creating a blog entry. It will be as entertaining as it is meaningful.
If you want to take the effect of emails to the next level, go for snail mail. Doing this has its pros and cons. It is a very personal way you can get in touch with them and it shows that you’ve spent time and effort creating it. The downside, you have to spend much more time and effort creating it.
Thoughtful TIP: If you need to make up for lost time or couldn’t come home when you said you’d be able to, this is an advisable medium of choice. Use a stationary in their favorite color or design to make them feel extra special.
Yes, call cards exist. It is very useful and more cost efficient than direct mobile calls when you are overseas. For family gatherings, especially this Christmas, it is heartwarming to call and hear everyone else’s voice and excitement.
Thoughtful TIP: Don’t wait for Christmas! Find the right time and give them a call after work, just to check up on them and how their day went. Make it unforgettable by giving them a call first thing in the morning to brighten up their day. Ask your friends where you can buy call cards in your neighborhood.
Skype & Facetime
For a no-fuss way to send your love while you’re overseas is with the classics – Skype or Facetime. It may not be new but it may have been a while since they've put your good looks and angelic voice together.
Thoughtful tip: schedule it with your friends and family and do it while you’re outdoors – in the park, in the café, while walking around the market, etc. It will give them the sights and sounds of where you live which is a very touching way to connect with them.
There are more ways you can show them how happy you are for them and how proud you are of their achievements. For moments you want to congratulate them on a promotion, graduation, for having made something new, or for moments you simply miss them and want to thank them for their love, go to www.gifted.ph. At Gifted.ph, you can send gift cards from brands that they will absolutely love and give it a personal touch with a customized greeting card while you recommend a gift item. Give them gift cards from brands that truly interest them. If they’ve been meaning to get a relaxing day away, give them gift cards from our nail spa brands. If they’re the type who claim shopping as a hoppy, select among retail brands.
It’s like sending a complete gift package without the pricey charges of sending a balikbayan box. Clearly, a no fail way to send your love for any occasion!
Thoughtful TIP: If you’re not sure what brand to give, then give them the opportunity to select their perfect gift. Gifted.ph’s Gift of Money has the convenience of wire transfer but is much more thoughtful because it also comes with a greeting card that you can personalize with a message. You can also recommend a fun item that they can consider getting with your gift.
Make the most of the Holiday season by doing these thoughtful ways of keeping in touch with closest friends and loved ones even while you’re far away. You may miss home just a bit more but it will help you keep your roots grounded and those tough days bearable. Remember, distance isn’t enough to keep you from sending your love to those who truly matter.