0845 602 55 95

Communicating With Home

Much like keeping warm, staying safe is achieved though ‘layering’. Every sensible step you take reduces the risk further; it’s never about one thing you can do to make travel safe, it’s about all the small measures you put into place which ultimately offer you a level of risk which is acceptable to you.

Staying in touch with people you leave behind is a more important ‘layer’ than many people think.

Every year scores of people go missing on their travels; on the whole it is not something as dramatic as kidnapping or getting lost in a jungle which befalls them, but rather just that they ‘lose touch’. Finding missing persons is difficult enough on a small island like the UK where we have CCTV cameras on every corner; it becomes very complicated when the starting point is, ‘somewhere in Asia’…

Communicating with home is about more than just averting these types of exceptional circumstance, it helps to lessen the ‘isolation’ of travel, avoid homesickness, reduce Culture Shock & Reverse Culture Shock, it provides a safety net, keeps your feet on the ground and your head in the ‘real world’.

It does even more than that…

Travelling will have its stressful moments, but often the stress for friends, family and partners left behind will actually be greater; it should not be underestimated. When you are sat on a remote beach where ‘time stands still’, time for those left behind continues at its usual fast pace. This creates an imbalance in relationships which is not well understood and not dissimilar to ‘culture shock’.

Independent travellers must remember that the new experiences they are lucky enough to be having, will not be recognised by people who have not had those same opportunities. The people left behind have to appreciate that travel is a ‘rite of passage’ which often involves an element of freedom and independence being gained; two often incompatible stances.

During our Independent Travel Safety & Cultural Awareness Workshop we discuss ways of bridging this gap by establishing a communication plan. We urge people to discuss before they leave how they will communicate and almost more importantly examine how they will deal with those periods when they are in-country but unable to communicate.

We live in an age when mobile communication, the internet, e-mails, Skype and social networking have superseded letters and postcards; this makes life much ‘easier’ but also poses new challenges.

Internet café’s can be found in most corners of the world, which means we are not familiar with being out of touch; this in itself means that when we are, people worry more.

Don’t forget that while you may be familiar with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other such systems, other people may need a hand setting up ‘a profile’ before you leave.

One final point to consider; the more in-touch you stay while you are away, the ‘easier’ it is for you when you eventually get home. A lot happens in 6 months to a year, the plot line of Eastenders may stay the same, but your friends and family will have ‘moved on’; don’t get left behind.

Stay in Touch!