This article is dedicated to all my friends who live far away from their family and friends.

When my grandma passed away few years ago, my mum handed me a package that was left by my grandma. Inside that envelope there were all my letters, birthday cards, and postcards, which I had sent to her when I left home more than 25 years ago to further my studies in Australia.

I carefully removed the contents of the package. Regrettably there were….  too few letters, photos and news of my life in my adopted country. Nevertheless, she kept what I sent her in pristine condition.

During my time away, I called home as frequently as I possibly could; I know it could have been more frequent, perhaps more effort in connecting… but… (There is always a but…)

Now that my parents are in their early 80s and late 70s, I have to put in more effort to connect with them. I know the distance will be an issue as they live in Malaysia. It would be nice to have your family living close by, but sometimes it is not meant to be.

For those that are living far away from their parents or other relatives, I fully understand where you are coming from. Yes, you will miss your parents, wish you were there to support and help them more, especially now that they are getting older. Time is precious.

However, have you thought that even if you lived close by your parents, you would be just as busy as you are right now? Busy with work, house chores, your children’s activities… and there will be the same reasons why you are unable to visit your parents as often as you may like.

I truly believe that distance may be an issue; I know there is no substitute to being there to share your journey and experience with your family. However, you are doing the best you can, and you can overcome the barrier of the distance.

With the advance of technology, you can now connect on a more personal manner through e-mail, Skype, phone or snail mail (normal mail).

Let me show you how…

  • You need to plan in advance, who you would like to connect with.
  • Note down their phone numbers, birthdays, and addresses.
  • Plan the number of calls you would like to make and when.
  • Chose your method of calling – whether through Skype, landline or international phone cards.
  • Purchase birthday cards or any blank cards in advance.
  • Note in your diary when the cards will be sent.

Follow your plan. You will be surprised by doing this.  It means you would have made more time to connect with your friends and relatives – MORE than if you were living nearby or in the same country. I truly believe that your family will appreciate your effort and they will feel the joy of your connections.

Never underestimate the power of connections, even if it is just a call. Sometimes a simple phone call or a card is what they really need.

Don’t let distance be an excuse for connection! You can connect with your family from any where in the world through the advancement of technology.

My grandma and I – my grandmother when she was 99 years old. She passed away the following year.