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In this day and age, many of us will invariably find ourselves having to be away from home for prolonged stretches, be it for work, pleasure or even love. Homesickness strikes when you least expect it, and simple things such as a care package from home may bring tears to your eyes. While plane flights home may be long and expensive, there are other ways to get a taste of home.
The easy availability of video conferencing makes it so much easier to be away from home. As long as you have a decent internet connection and a suitable device, connecting with loved ones back home via Skype, Facetime or even Google Hangouts is a breeze. Being able to hear and see your loved ones in real time via videoconferencing is a panacea for homesickness – the next best thing to being physically beside them.
If your hometown or city has a local news website, subscribe to it via an RSS aggregator to get news updates pushed to you daily. If not, check out other global websites such as CNN and BBC for frequent and thorough news coverage. Local bloggers are also a fantastic source of information. They offer a more human angle to events, and may even cover stories that regular news websites do not cover.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and other instant messaging platforms are everywhere these days. They allow us to keep in close contact with friends and family back home, even when time zones make voice/video conferencing difficult. Sending a text message does not take much time, and you can even see if your recipient has read your message. If your internet connection does not allow for video conferencing, or even websites and social media that is image heavy, text messaging is a great way to communicate with those back home as it is fast and simple.
Sometimes the best way to catch up on news from home is to meet up with other people. Face-to-face chats can be a pleasant way to get updates, and nothing beats the warmth of hanging out with other people from home. Meeting up with fellow compatriots helps you to create a community, a sense of home away from home. Some people like to do potlucks with dishes that remind them of home, while others just revel in the familiarity of being able to speak their native languages with ease.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great ways to get bite-sized news updates about what is going on back at home. Add friends and family members to your network, and receive these updates in real time. Social media combines the benefits of text messaging and other more interactive media such as pictures and videos. Networks like Twitter offer a great way to filter information with the use of hashtags, so that you can stay current with the things that you are concerned about. If you have a smartphone, installing social media apps will help you stay connected with constant push updates as well.
Do share with us how you keep up with news from home!
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