When people are relocating, a common fear is that they will lose contact with their friends. When I left Australia, I had the same fear.
I was so surprised at how cheap it was to call home from my mobile phone in Cayman. I don’t know the rates – I didn’t need to know. All I needed to know was that I would pay for $30 credit, and a 20 minute phone call barely cost a thing. I was texting and calling people every day and only had to recharge my phone every 2-3 weeks – which if you’re talking about international calls, is amazing!
When I started working, it was harder to stay in touch with people because of the time difference. I obviously wasn’t able to call whilst I was at work, but when I finished work all of my friends and family would have just started their work day in Australia. I ended up having late night phone calls with people once every couple of weeks. It was great.
Until I realized no one was calling me back. It was too expensive to call Cayman from Australia, as Cayman came under the ‘*Excluding the following countries’ tab on the terms and conditions of all the phone plans. I started getting frustrated when I’d call someone and the first thing they’d say was ‘Oh hi! I haven’t heard from you in AGES!!’. Which was great, because they were excited… but it peeved me off a little bit as well because I didn’t see why I was always the one that was expected to keep the lines of communication open. Surely if they wanted to talk to me that badly, they’d give me a call as well?
The good news about all of this, is that no one needed to be spending any money on calls or texts! All they had to do was download Skype. I’m sure all of you would know what Skype is, but in case you don’t: Skype ‘…allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system…’ (Courtesy of my favourite website Wikipedia!!)
So basically, we could have video chats for free! All we had to do was organize a time that was mutually convenient, and log into our Skype accounts.
Since then, I have started using an iPhone. I can send free text messages through whatsapp (click HERE for further information) if they have that app on their blackberry or iPhone; or I can call them for free on Viber (what is Viber?), assuming they have that app on their iPhone.
So now, people have the option to call me without it costing them a cent (assuming they haven’t gone over their data allowance)… The question is: will they do it?!
Communication could never be easier!
(answer to above question: of course they will – because I’m amazing!)