Traveler Lifestyle: Staying in Touch While on the Road
Being a health care traveler is a rewarding career, but being away from friends and family can put a strain on your relationships. Technology, while you are traveling or at home, can be a friend or a foe. It makes it easier and cheaper than ever to stay in touch with friends and family, yet we are living in the “age of loneliness” and social media can make your relationships worse. How do you stay in touch without falling into the anti-social media trap?
Quality Over Quantity
Instead of sending a dozen messages to a dozen friends, focus on one quality conversation every day or two. Set aside at least 30 minutes for a call or chat and pay full attention to the conversation. Devote that time to only the conversation so that it doesn’t feel hurried or distracted. Is your friend or family member distracted? Make it impossible for them to multitask by following the next tip.
Choose Video Chat Over Messages
Opt for Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts to make free video calls. Video allows us to see smiles, frowns, laughter and the nuances of reactions to what we say or how the other person feels. Share an activity over video like having a glass of wine, eating a meal, showing each other new clothes or how you’ve decorated your home.
Start a Book Club
Choose a title to read with friends or family and virtually regroup every month to discuss it. You will share an experience together that will give you something in common to talk about.
Not sure which book to start with? Check out our five book recommendations.
Watch a Series
Start watching a new show with a friend via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or whichever streaming service you prefer. Watch the episodes at or around the same time then find a day to discuss it together. To make an even more meaningful connection, use Rabbit to watch it together and live chat while it’s on.
Listen to Music
Follow each other’s playlists on Spotify or use Wavelength to live stream music together. With Wavelength, you can start a chat room together (remember those?), create a playlist of music or videos, and watch them together. It’s an easy way to share new music.
Send Care Packages
As you travel to new places, find a small, quirky item that represents the destination and send it in a care package to someone who would appreciate it. Hopefully, this is also a person who will reciprocate the gesture and will send you items from home.
Have you ever met someone who hated letters? They are proof that you thought about the recipient for a long time. Sitting down to write a letter takes care, thought and effort. There is a reason they are still around – people love receiving handwritten letters. Buy beautiful stationery, a pen you love to write with and stamps so you have all the tools you need.
As much as possible, try to replicate the shared experience of being in the same space together, whether through live video chat, reading books or sending items back and forth. In doing so, you will create deeper, more meaningful connections with the people who mean the most to you. People who have strong ties to family and friends have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer social connections. It turns out the fountain of youth is our relationships with friends and family!