Connecting With Family While Abroad

December 9, 2015 / by Lindsay Mullen


The holidays are a time to celebrate with the ones you love the most. Unfortunately, living abroad makes it challenging for your assignee to see everyone on their list this year, many of whom live thousands of miles behind at home. Although the thought of hitching a ride stateside with Santa’s reindeer may be more appealing than ever this time of year, it’s not very realistic. Instead, here are three ways assignees can share their holiday experience with loved ones.

Blog Writing

The holidays are a hectic time and one of the most challenging aspects of communication is trying to fit weeks of experiences into short bursts of communication. Encourage your assignees to keep a blog detailing their experience. Not only with this help their families feel more involved in their travels, it will allow them the opportunity to see pictures and links right away, as opposed to hearing about an experience over a call. During the holidays, provide your assignees with information about the eclectic holiday celebrations around the world to give their blog a festive spin and allow family members to be a part of your expat’s new holiday experiences, even from miles away.


There’s nothing like receiving a physical holiday card, especially one with a thoughtful message. Not only are family members craving information on your travels, writing them out in card is a lot more personal than blogging, with a lot of options for unique card designs no matter where your assignees are located. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to find one-of-a-kind holiday cards that will get family members almost as excited as when they unwrap their Zimbabwean soapstone sculptures! For expats in Saint Petersburg, the Pionerskaya Square Christmas Market provides visitors with a unique holiday card upon entrance (and a small donation), perfect to share with family members stateside. For those in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it might mean wandering the cobblestone streets of Bascarsija to find the perfect card.


Has your assignee spent every last one of their Japanese yen shipping a handcrafted maneki neko figurine to his mother-in-law just in time for Hanukkah? Rather than await a letter or to be showered with gratitude upon his return, why not see her face light up in the moment? Enter Skype and FaceTime, an assignee’s bread and butter. Whether they use a computer, tablet or mobile device, video calling is a great way to be front and center in this year’s festivities. By purchasing a wifi range extender, connecting with family can be crystal-clear even if wifi is spotty. The range extender can boost signal up to five times its standard speed, meaning less anticipating if your assignee’s video freezes right when your gift is unwrapping.  

No matter where your assignee is located, it is important to encourage them to reach out to their families. No gesture is too small this holiday season and family members are sure to appreciate hearing from them. Do you want more information about how to make sure your assignee is taking the time for their families? Check out Relocation: Making it a Family Matter to get more tips.


Topics: Corporate

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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