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10 tips to stay connected with your loved ones back home during corona travel restrictions

May • 15th, 2020
by Barbara Bijvank

10 tips to inspire you to remain connected


Now that Germany is opening up slowly it is possible to see your friends in Germany again in real life instead of on a screen. Even though this does not mean we can go back to having big parties or gatherings it feels very nice to see those lovely faces again.


Unfortunately, it will still be a while until you can travel back home to see your family and friends there. As an expat this can make the distance between them and you feel even bigger. At Expat in the City we also experience that with our loved ones far away. During the past couple of weeks of lockdown we have tried some old, some new and some renewed ways to keep in touch. Also we’ve heard some tips from our German friends that we would like to share with you. Who knows this might become the ‘new normal’ for expats to keep in touch with the peeps back home and stay connected.


Send postcards or write letters weekly


Yeah, this is not new, actually this used to be the normal way to stay in touch before Skype etc. But ‘snail mail’ is experiencing a comeback. Send a postcard or letter to grandma and grandpa with some encouraging words and you will surely receive something back! You can also create cards online, but a real hand-written card in my opinion still trumps digital any day. And mail is still being delivered so go get out your nicest pen and get writing!


Start a book club


Knowing that other people on the other side of the world share the same activity as you do feels very connected. Then discussing it on a shared call is a nice way to pick up on the shared interests and find out new things about your sister, brother or friend. You can order your book online through the ‘big webstores’ or maybe your local bookstore is now also offering online ordering. Would be nice to support your local entrepreneurs in the process. Did you know there are many more local stores to support? 


Send daily photos 


Start a ‘daily photo’ challenge so you can show what daily life looks like for you now. It also encourages you to find the beauty in every day (home) life. This will also be input for that (online) photo album that has been on your to-do list for a while now ;). And how great is it to see what your friends are up to now? For inspiration: Have you seen this challenge?


Schedule in a weekly video call


During the start of the corona lockdown a lot of people scheduled in ‘virtual drinks’ with their friends via video calls. Why not make this a tradition even when corona allows us to go out again? Having a scheduled call makes sure that you keep in touch and keep the group feeling alive. Don’t forget the ‘video call bingo’ :)


Learn a new language together


Always wanted to learn German or Spanish? This is the time to get started on an online course. To make it more fun why not take on this journey with a friend or family member. Keep each other motivated and share home work and use your new words in the next conversation. Check out our language school section for great language schools.


Introduce a daily story reading time


My children are missing their grandparents a lot and vice versa. During the home schooling days we set up a daily ‘reading time’ for the grandparents. It worked out so nicely we are keeping it up. There are many websites with stories for them to read.


Send memories


Facebook already does it: send you memories every now and then. And that was already a nice feature in non-corona times. Now when times can feel tough it is even more important to remember the nice things in life. Share that photo of your shared weekend trip with your friends. “Remember when we had a blast in Barcelona’ or ‘Remember that day in the park’? Happy memories make for happy thoughts!


Make plans for when you can see each other again


This too shall pass, it must and it will! And maybe life will not be as we knew it, but we will for sure be making trips and doing fun things with other people again. What better than to start making plans for the things you will be doing together again. Always wanted to go to Chiemsee, visit Vienna or hike in the Alps? This is a great time to check out what you could do there and share tips. Looking forward to something can be half the fun!


Sign up for the same webinar

So many companies and organisations are organising amazing webinars or online presentations. Most of them for free or for a small fee. Why not sign up to for the same webinar together? No matter where you are in the world you can join the event together and get inspired! Check our event sections for some examples to join.


Not only share the good but also the ugly


It is sometimes hard to admit you are not coping well or that things are not always ‘a picnic in the park’ and that you are worried. But as the experts also say it is so, so important to talk about it. And who better to talk to then the people that love you. It will not solve your problems but will make you feel lighter and less alone.


If you have more tips that worked really well for you, let us know!



Stay healthy & safe everyone! 


Check out our latest articles for parents who are home with their children during quarantine and overall tips and thoughts on the current situation for more inspiration :) 



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