How to Stay in Touch with Loved Ones when Overseas

Travel expert and busy mum, Rose Jacobs, shares how she manages to stay connected with her family while traveling the world.

It’s not that I don’t love my husband and kids anymore. But I have to say, the experience of travelling without them, or of being the one who stays home while hubby is away on a work trip just isn’t so unbearable anymore.

Perhaps its because I now have such a renewed appreciation for those long hours on a plane, with nothing better to do than catch up on your latest blockbuster movies, sip wine, get your work done without interruption and then sleep the hours away. Since having kids, being forced to do nothing is now worth its weight in gold.

Or, perhaps its because I still get so ridiculously excited by the idea of a trip away, anywhere, even for work and even if I’ve been there a dozen times before and even if I am travelling with both my kids under the age of three. No matter how challenging it gets, for me, any trip away is still incredibly satisfying. It keeps me grounded. It reminds us of how lucky we are to have our lot in life. It gives us fresh perspective, and in many cases, it makes us appreciate our loved ones even more too.

In saying that, my seventy-year old mother still gets incredibly anxious any time I head abroad, especially when I was pregnant and now when I am taking the kids. Still, it’s nice to know you have loved ones who care so much.

So what is the thing that has helped so much with calming my anxieties – about being away, or about being the one to stay home, or in keeping my mother’s anxieties in check? The answer is simple. No matter how far away you are, you are never out of touch.

As The LifeStyle Channel’s “travel expert” and with a husband who travels around 300 days per year for his TV job, it is vital for our marriage and for our children that we are able to communicate at the drop of a hat. I feel safe in the knowledge that our kids won’t suffer abandonment issues in life because quite frankly, they communicate more with their parents on a daily basis when either one of us is away than most other kids with both parents home every evening. My daughter Isabella only has to say “where’s Daddy today?” for me to reply “Daddy went on a plane for work. Shall we call him and say hello?” It was only two weeks ago that she busted out this pearler “Let’s go home and Skype Daddy.” She’s two.

Sure, the time difference thing doesn’t always match up – but that’s when you can leave a video message so the kids still get to see your face. Or, as was the case at Christmas when my hubby was in Lapland (Norway) for work, in Santa’s official village no less, he actually recorded a video message from Santa himself and emailed it through to the girls. I have no doubt this will be played at their 21sts and perhaps played every Christmas from now until that day!

But it doesn’t have to be an effort. And you don’t have to be a technical genius. Often the most heart-warming way I start my day, when I’m waking up on the other side of the world, with nothing familiar and a long journey ahead of me, my phone has a text sitting there waiting for me and it can be as simple as three words “you are loved” or a random photo of the day in the life of my daughters having a tea party in the yard or splashing in the bath, and I am transported home.

It’s not always about how far away you are, it’s about knowing you are held in mind. And it seems to have done the trick with putting my Mum at ease – except that she now sends me so many random photos of her travels I can’t always make sense of who all her new friends and taxi drivers are!


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