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How To Stay Connected With Friends and Family Back Home

Written by CNN Team

Sponsored By CIBC

Here are some ways to maintain your long-distance relationships with friends and family back home.

It is perfectly normal to feel homesick when you move to a new country. After all, it is no secret that you will be missing the friends and family you are leaving behind to start over, but there are still ways to stay connected and have fun together. In a world where video chatting is the new normal, it is getting easier to stay close to those who matter to us. Here are some ideas: 

Group Chats

Messaging apps can help you to stay connected with friends and family. Beyond the typical Facebook and Instagram options, there is also WhatsApp and Signal. Create a group chat to keep in constant touch with loved ones — no matter where you are. You can send pictures, video updates, voice notes, and texts to each other. It’s a space where everyone can participate.

Binge-Watch a New Show Together

Luckily, distance does not need to impact our ability to watch TV shows together. With streaming services such as Netflix Party, we can watch episodes across time zones and benefit from the group chat option and synchronized video playback. 

Remote Book Club

Is there a shared favorite genre among your family or friend group? Stay connected with fellow book lovers by creating a space for them to meet every month to discuss current reads and new authors they enjoy. It can expand everyone’s interests! In addition, you can join a pre-established book club to connect with people from all over the world.

Cooking Night

Share recipes to try every week. Ask your parents how to cook your favorite childhood recipe. If you are looking for something different, then consider taking an online cooking class together!

Virtual Game Night

Organize and host a family or friends game night online. Combat the distance blues with a night of fun (and a little competition, of course) by utilizing video chat applications that allow for multiple users. Then take advantage of games you can play online such as Jackbox TV, Heads Up! or online board or card games. 

Online Workout Classes

Motivate yourself as well as your friends and family members to get healthier by exercising together. All you have to do is search “Free Online Workouts” and choose one that you would like to try. There will be tons of options. So set a date, load the video, and get ready to sweat together!

Video Messages

It sucks to miss memorable moments and special events because of distance. However, you can make yourself a part of their day by recording a video with a special message for the person you are all celebrating! 

Snail Mail

There is always old-fashioned snail mail. Send a handwritten letter and some photographs or keepsakes that your family and friends will enjoy back home. Show them what you have been getting up to in a more sentimental way. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion.

Collaborative Playlist

Music streaming apps such as Spotify allow members to collaborate on a playlist that you all enjoy. So share your favourite tunes and mix up those genres as you create a unique playlist for all of you. 

Game Night

Does anyone in your family or friend group enjoy video games? Get a virtual game going that permits multiplayer. For example, Animal Crossing is popular and enables you to visit your friends’ virtual towns within the game. If you are not interested in video games, then consider regular internet games such as Words with Friends.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

When you are feeling down about being apart from those you love, then video chat with them. There are tons of options to choose from: Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom and more. Video chat is a great way to stay connected and joke around. Laughter is contagious!

Quick Summary

In the end, there are many ways to stay connected with friends and family back home. Find methods that work for you and those you love and take advantage of them to maintain those connections.
And if any of these friends or family members decide to follow in your footsteps and move to Canada, did you know that there is a way you can help them out? Use your CIBC chequing or savings account to refer them and you could both earn $50. That could be a great welcome to Canada for them! You can also easily send money to friends and family as gifts or help pay for things back home using CIBC’s Global Money Transfer.

The CIBC logo is a trademark of CIBC.

Earn $50 each time a person you refer is eligible for and opens a CIBC Smart Account for Newcomers and receives their reward, up to $500 each year. This offer is available between January 1 to December 31, for the first 10 people you refer each year that qualified and got their cash reward. To learn more, refer to the Referral Program Terms and Conditions.

CIBC and CIBC Global Money Transfer™️ Start are trademarks of CIBC.

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