For some of us, becoming full-time RVers means being away from children and grandkids. For others, it means we can see them more often than we would have had we stayed put. Whichever the case, staying in touch helps keep the relationship vital between visits. How do you stay in touch and keep a meaningful relationship going? Here are some ideas. Please feel free to add yours in the comment section.
Cell phones: It’s pretty hard to remember (or imagine) the ‘90s when we had to find pay phones to make phone calls and check messages. Though there are areas where you have no signal, friends and family plans and free weekend minutes make it pretty easy to stay in touch by phone. Some couples have cells with two different companies to increase the chances of at least one having a good signal.
E-mail: Aircards, satellite Internet and WiFi make it more easy to maintain regular e-mail contact. A Web-based e-mail like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail means you can also check e-mail if you have to use a computer in a library or Internet café. It’s also easy to send digital photos as a way to let family and friends keep up with your travels.
Skype and a Web cam: A Web camera allows you to record a message or to be visible while talking. With Skype, if you both have accounts, the “call” is free and they’ll be able to see you on the screen during the call. If you both have Web cams, you can each see each other while you talk. Web cams are relatively inexpensive now. Also, with a Web cam, you can record a short wmv file and send that or upload it to YouTube, keeping it private. Send the link and then your family can view your message.
Postcards: Kids love getting their own mail. A postcard from grandparents is special if addressed to them.
Blog or Web site: Setting up a blog or online journal is an effective way to share accounts of your journeys and photos with others so you don’t have to write the same thing over and over in separate emails. You can restrict comments so they have to be approved, keeping them to family. A Web site of your own can accomplish the same thing. You can use an inexpensive hosting company like GoDaddy and get setup quickly.
Online photo albums: Picassa and other sites allow you to post and share photo albums without having your own Web site or blog. Other friends and family can share their albums too.
These are the main ways we use. Any other ideas? Which ones work for you?
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak